Players Show Cats Care

Caroline Sikes
March 21, 2013

Video: Day of Service Recap | Press Conference | One-on-One with MJ | Y Achiever's Interview with MJ | Player Involvement
Galleries: Day of Service Gallery | Day of Service Player Gallery | Y Achiever's Photo Gallery

The Bobcats Sports and Entertainment (BSE) and FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth partnered together on March 21, 2013 for the annual Cats Care Day of Service. This year the event focused on children’s education, so BSE employees traveled to different Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to discuss the importance of learning.

Cats Care, the Bobcats community outreach program, hosted the day dedicated to supporting children at every educational level while acknowledging students excelling in their studies.

Even Bobcats players got in on the action, with Byron Mullens and Kemba Walker making an appearance at Berryhill School, while Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon went to University Meadows Elementary School and Bismack Biyombo and Josh McRoberts visited Ranson Middle School. The players took the time to stop into classes and encourage the students to continue doing well in school.

“Without education you can’t do much in life,” Walker explained to a class of sixth graders, “It’s not always about being the smartest person in class, it’s about hard work. That’s how I got my good grades, because I wanted to learn and I wanted help. I put a lot of hard work in it and I think that’s why I’m successful today.”

The kids were obviously thrilled, staring in awe as the NBA players walked past their open classroom doors. Many of the questions directed towards the Bobcat players had more to do with basketball than education.

There was a lot of – “How tall are you?” or “Can I have your autograph?” A seventh grader even challenged Walker and Mullens to a game of two-on-two.

The players were just as entertained by the kids while fielding questions, cracking jokes about turning homework in on time and the seriousness of the SAT and ACT tests.

At Rason Middle School, Biyombo was a hit in a classroom full of students whose second language was English. Biyombo, who is multilingual, quickly struck up a conversation in French with a student who also happened to be from Biyombo’s home country, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

To make the day even more special, the Bobcats and FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth donated $200,000 to Y Achievers, a YMCA of Greater Charlotte program designed to help students set and pursue high educational and career goals. The two organizations also honored three high school students with a $5,000 scholarship to help fund their educational goals after they graduate.