Smith Participates in Westwego Reading Event
October 30, 2012
New Orleans Hornets big man Jason Smith is no stranger to being active in the greater New Orleans community. However, he probably did not anticipate when he joined ACME President Mike Coatney for the ACME Reading Time-out Monday, that his continued basketball preparation and competitive fire would be assessed by the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders of Joshua Butler Elementary.
During the ACME Reading Time-out, Smith and Coatney took turns reading a Halloween-themed book to Westwego elementary students. At the conclusion, the students had an opportunity to ask the two readers about their experiences and pick their brains for advice. One student asked the two how they used their reading skills in their respective careers. Coatney explained the importance of reading for the logistics and advancement of ACME trucking goals and Smith discussed how reading scouting reports and understanding contracts is essential to his success on and off the court.
The last question of the day, though, really put Smith’s passion and intensity under the microscope. A student asked if all basketball players must have the same goal of winning a championship to be successful. Smith answered eloquently, all while keeping the focus on academics.
“You always want to strive for greatness.” Smith told the students. “You want to be the best in anything and everything you can be. Whether it’s your math class, English class, history class, or science class, you want to excel.”
The experience and the message of the day was one that will not soon be forgotten by the students, or by Hornet Jason Smith himself. “For me it’s really just to go out there and have fun. Reading to kids is enjoyable for me,” he explained. “It means a lot to me because you see their faces light up when you walk in the room, and that right there is worth it to me.”
The event was event was emceed by Hornets radio broadcaster Sean Kelley.