Oradell (NJ) Girl Takes Three Nets to School
September 25, 2008
by Ben Couch - NJNETS.COM
East Rutherford, NJ — The house was not hard to identify. There was, after all, a large New Jersey Nets logo decal affixed to the front door.
As rookie center Brook Lopez approached, he pointed it out and leaned toward forward Ryan Anderson.
“Was this here already?”
Anderson shook his head. “I don’t know, man.”
The pair was joined by swingman Chris Douglas-Roberts, and Lopez rang the bell. It was answered by Julia Lubben of Oradell, N.J., who quickly invited the players inside. Lubben, 9, was this year’s winner of the “Take-the-Nets to School” Sweepstakes. The players gave her a personalized Nets jersey, which she quickly donned, and a 3-A-Day lunchbox.
“It’s surprising how very tall they are!” Lubben said. “I think the kids in my class are going to be excited.”
The fourth-grader has been a long-time Nets fan – her father claimed that as a three-year-old, Lubben was able to name all the players on the roster of the 2002 Finals team. After the players were introduced to the Lubben family and a few of Julia’s classmates, they all sat down to breakfast.
The meal, provided by the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, featured myriad bagels, croissants, fruit, milk, yogurt, cereal and granola. The players and kids talked about their favorite foods, school, and – of course – gym class. Lopez schmeared a bagel, Douglas-Roberts chowed down on granola and yogurt, and Anderson reminded everyone of the importance of starting your day right.
“I know how important it is for us to get a good breakfast in before we play every day,” Anderson said. “They’ve got young brains that have got to grow. And dairy’s important to get big, strong bones like this guy, Brook Lopez.”
He clapped a hand heartily on Lopez’s shoulder.
“So if you want to get big and strong like him, you should drink milk every day.”
After breakfast, everyone stepped out into the Lubbens’ driveway for a brief shootaround. In what should become a familiar sight for Nets fans, Lopez positioned himself down low, Douglas-Roberts hung out on the perimeter and Anderson floated between the two. The players, Lubben and her friends fired away, with Lubben throwing down a Lopez-and-Anderson-assisted dunk.
From there, the group took a limo ride to Oradell Public School, where Lubben introduced the players to her classmates. They engaged in a question-and-answer session, and the trio signed autographs for each youngster.
“It was really cool,” said Michael Lubben, Julia’s father. “She was thrilled when she found out. I know the class was excited, especially the boys.”