Hoosiers Visit Templeton Elementary School
Oct. 27, 2006
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - In an effort to emphasize the value of reading and education, the Indiana Basketball program continued its elementary school tour with a stop at Templeton Elementary School on Oct. 27. Assistant coach Jeff Meyer, junior forward Lance Stemler, sophomore forward Kyle Taber and video coordinator Travis Steele spoke with and read to students in grades K-6.
While the students love to meet and interact with IU coaches and players, Meyer said that the outreach arrangement is just as beneficial to the Hoosier program.
"Community service is a primary objective with Coach Sampson's vision for the Indiana Basketball Program," Meyer said. "It's a tremendous opportunity to invest into the lives of young people here in Bloomington and throughout the region in an educational setting. It's not only a great opportunity but a natural fit for our program."
Stemler, Taber, Steele and Meyer appreciated the warm reception from the students.
"It was fun, the kids were great," Stemler said. "It reminds you of what it was like when you were their age. The kids are so happy to see you that it puts you in a good mood."
Taber pointed out some of the professional development advantages.
"No matter what profession you get into, you have to be comfortable speaking in front of people," Taber said. "It's an easy way to start, because the kids are so into it and happy to see you."
The IU players and staff had age-specific messages for the students.
"I told some of the older students to establish good study habits," Stemler said. "Particularly when you get more involved in different activities, you need to have good time management skills and discipline to study on your own."
Meyer read Salt In His Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream to the students. Written by Jordan's mother, Deloris and sister, Roslyn, the book recounts Jordan's childhood battles of trying to play basketball against bigger kids in the neighborhood.
While Jordan's mother encourages young Michael to put salt in his shoes and say a prayer every night in order to grow taller, his father informs him that practice, determination and giving your all is how you progress.
The book served as a reference for Meyer's lesson to the students.
"You can't determine how tall you are going to be," Meyer said. "But we do control how hard we practice and how determined we are. Are you willing to practice until you achieve your dream?"
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