Durant, Peterson Lead Students in NBA Fit Clinic

The excitement came the moment Shana Perry got a phone call from the Thunder a few months ago saying it wanted to host a Thunder Fit Clinic at her school. The predicament soon followed. Del Crest Middle School has 587 students. Perry, the school’s principal, could only choose 60 for the event.

“So I said, because it’s about fit and healthy lifestyles I talked to my phys-ed teachers
and said, ‘let’s pick the kids who are in P.E. because you wouldn’t believe that there’s a lot of parents who decline for their kids to take P.E.,” Perry said. “So we looked at P.E. first, the kids who are actively involved, who serve as leaders. We even do nonfiction writing, so sometimes during P.E. class they’ll be asked why is a fit and healthy lifestyle good? So these are the kids that come to school all the time. It doesn’t mean they’re the best students in class, it just means they’re the best students in P.E. class. They’re not the best athletes. They’re the ones who come in here and give it every day, so that’s who we picked.”

The kids heard their names called on the school’s P.A. system on Tuesday, when they all were brought into the cafeteria and told they were chosen to participate in the clinic with Thunder players Kevin Durant and Mo Peterson.

“My philosophy is trust is doing what’s right even when no one’s watching,” Perry said. “They didn’t know we were – because we were. We were making the list.”

With handmade posters adorning the gymnasium walls and party music blaring through speakers, Durant and Peterson ran the students through exercise and basketball drills, held a Q&A session, gave a pop quiz and spoke to the kids about the importance of incorporating fitness into your lifestyle at an early age.

“Just an hour a day, starting to build good habits like that is going to help down the line,” Durant said. “I’m very adamant about that and I want to push that out as much as possible.”

Durant gladly obliged to be a part of the NBA Fit Team when they approached him a while back. Several other Thunder players showed their support throughout NBA Fit Week by wearing NBA Fit warm-ups before games.

Durant and Peterson headed to Del City after the Thunder went through an hour-long practice on Friday afternoon. By the time they were through with the clinic, they had broke another sweat.

Durant, for one, said he can relate to the challenges kids face these days with staying in shape.

“This day and age with the computers and video games and Twitter and Facebook, it’s different,” Durant said.

Even so, Durant said he started to cut out junk food, eat more salads and stay away from fast food and burgers in recent years. He considered Friday’s clinic a treat.

“It’s just a joy seeing them,” Durant said. “Basketball is something I’m passionate about. For this to be part of Fit Week and coming out here to do a clinic with the kids I’m happy to be a part of it. I’m very excited to get out and play and hopefully it corresponds to what they do on an everyday basis. Hopefully it’s not just here that they work out on the basketball court or outside. Hopefully it’s every day.”

Contact Chris Silva