Archive for Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Local elementary students get visit from Jayhawk basketball players

Advice on healthy eating teamed with exercise, autograph session

KU Basketball player Mario Little prepares to shoot while playing Gladiator during a gym class at Sunset Hill Elementary School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. KU players exercised with students and promoted healthy habits.

KU Basketball player Mario Little prepares to shoot while playing Gladiator during a gym class at Sunset Hill Elementary School on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009. KU players exercised with students and promoted healthy habits.

September 22, 2009


KU basketball players take time out for Fun and Fitness

KU basketball players hung out with elementary school children Tuesday at Sunset Hill. The players spent time at the school as part of the Fun and Fitness program. Enlarge video

Some visitors to Sunset Hill School Tuesday morning had students looking up, way up.

Several members of the Kansas University men’s basketball team — junior center Cole Aldrich, senior guard Mario Little and sophomore guard Jordan Juenemann — dropped in on physical education classes to make sure the students understand that healthy eating and exercise make for a great game plan.

“Not many people might think about that, but the better you eat, the healthier you eat, your body’s going to respond that much better,” said Aldrich. “It’s really a big part of our lives.”

While the three players make up almost 20 feet and 650 pounds of the Jayhawks, the Sunset students weren’t intimidated.

“I thought they’d be taller,” third-grader Brynn Kelly said. “They were telling us about fitness and healthy snacks and fun.”

The Fun and Fitness with the Jayhawks program gives young students a chance to hear straight from the players about what it takes to be a college student-athlete. And before class ended on Tuesday, they squeezed in a quick pickup game.

The Jayhawks had quite a height advantage against elementary students, and Little said he’d rather play against kids his own size.

“It’d be easy, but it wouldn’t be fun,” Little said. “It’s good to teach kids the right way to live, the right way to eat and just how to play the game.”

The elementary school kids got their very own autograph session and asked questions of the big guys.

“I think it was really cool getting their autograph and I’m going to save that forever,” Brynn said.

No matter if they swooshed or missed the basket during the shoot around, both players and kids felt like winners.

“These kids are great and they’re so much fun,” said Juenemann.

And maybe the players’ good deeds off the court will pay dividends once the season starts later this fall.

“We’re out here enjoying our time, taking a little step away from basketball,” Aldrich said. “(We’re) trying to give back to the community that gives us so much.”

Freshman guard Xavier Henry, sophomore guard Tyshawn Taylor and junior guard Chase Buford will visit Langston Hughes School on Friday.


Bobbi Walls 8 years, 8 months ago

Are they visiting all elementary schools?

Matthew Herbert 8 years, 8 months ago

Did any of the KU players demonstrate to the kids how to get beat up by the football team? I'm guessing Ty Taylor didn't make this trip?

Flap Doodle 8 years, 8 months ago

I wonder if conflict resolution will be a topic?

KaraGourley 8 years, 8 months ago

I know they visited Deerfield on Monday!

Catbacker 8 years, 8 months ago

You know what's good exercise...fighting.

lawrenceishome 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm willing to bet that not ALL KU basketball players like to fight. I'm just thinking back to that age and how awesome it would be to have KU bball players come and play with us! How cool is that?! They watch these guys play at the Fieldhouse and now they are playing in their elementary gym!! Always good stuff.

afraidnot 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm surprised they are allowed around children.

Socratic 8 years, 8 months ago

Now this is the kind of nice stuff that KU players have traditionally done. Don't condemn all the athletes because of a few ill-advised fights.

alchemist 8 years, 8 months ago

I'm not sure it's a good idea to have these guys going into the schools anymore. Obviously, they are meant to be role models for the younger students but we've all seen and heard how great they are at doing that. Maybe the younger students should be the ones visiting these guys on campus and teaching them how to behave like adults. Or maybe just maybe this town would stop idolizing FB and BB and only let the real "top notch" academically strong athletes who are good citizens take part in this activity, and maybe recruit some non-athlete "top achieving" students to take part as well. That way these students can learn from some real role models. Rather than some juvenile fight clubbers who pose as the FB and BB teams.

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