Jones and Adams Delight at FIT Clinic
The boys and girls basketball teams at Kerr Middle School in Del City had no idea what they were in for. Assembled in their gymnasium just days after their season ended, the students were treated to a big surprise when Thunder players Perry Jones and Steven Adams strolled through the door.
As a part of the Thunder’s FIT Clinic program, sponsored by Homeland, Jones and Adams dropped by the school to interact with the kids, answer their questions and teach them some lessons about fitness, basketball and nutrition. As her students beamed with joy throughout the afternoon, Kerr’s Assistant Principal Amber Reid could only stand back and smile.
“Today was amazing,” Reid said. It was a total surprise. They had no idea that the Thunder was coming.”
“I always want opportunities for my kids that they wouldn’t get to have elsewhere,” Reid continued. “This is something that will last them a lifetime.”
Jones joined in a large group dance at one point and Adams was busy helping at a nutrition station as the kids learned about what foods and beverages are best after a workout. Both players helped the students through dribbling drills, shooting stations and aerobic exercises. At the end of the day, there was a question-and-answer session, a group photo and a giveaway that included t-shirts, backpacks and wristbands.
“You have a lot of different activities for the kids to take part in,” Adams said. “It’s for the kids to develop habits so they know what to eat and what is good for them to make sure they become healthy athletes.”
“To me it’s fun. I enjoy it and I’m sure they enjoy it. I just come out here and put a smile on a kid’s face. It’s a pretty exciting feeling to play some lockdown defense on some kids.”
The kids enjoyed the basketball drills the most, getting a kick out of Jones celebrating each students’ made basket and Adams feeding passes to students as they lined up for a shot. Both players had a great time as well, but also made sure to dole out some wisdom in the educational stations. After making a light-hearted jab about the Thunder elder-statesmen’s age, Jones explained why these students can just look to the Thunder’s most veteran player to understand why eating and exercising correctly from a young age is so important.
“If you want to be built like Derek Fisher, solid, you have to eat right and take care of your body,” Jones said. “Especially if you’re playing sports, you have to stay healthy, keep your bones strong and your muscles strong so you can compete.”
The exclamation point was stamped on the afternoon when the crowd of aspiring basketball players clamored for the hyper-athletic Jones to throw down a dunk. At first bashful, the second year forward eventually obliged when Adams egged on the crowd to even higher decibels. Jones moved to the left side of the floor, took two big steps then hammered home a one-handed wind-mill dunk to send the assembled crowd into a frenzy.
In that moment, every student in the building had the realization that they were amidst not just NBA players, but a pair of young members of the Thunder who Oklahomans cheer on each night.
“It was just a blessing to see who I look up to and people who I want to be and I want to grow to someday,” said a seventh grader named Keshon. “I just had fun and played with them.”