Thunder Promoting Healthy Living at Sequoyah Middle School
The already lively session at Sequoyah Middle School in Edmond that involved basketball skill sessions, fitness drills and nutrition stations was boosted by the third year center and second year guard on Friday afternoon. Whether it was Aldrich playing one-on-one against a tall, athletic eighth grader or Jackson teaching the students proper dribbling technique, the verve the Thunder duo brought the Fit Clinic, presented by Homeland, was special to both the kids and players alike.
“We get to participate and just have fun and try to bring joy to the kids and teach them about staying fit,” Jackson said. “I think we all like to give back to the community, especially the way they support us. Being here in Oklahoma with friendly people, it’s a joy to be here. People really take you in as family so it’s easy to give back and easy come out here and do these appearances.”
For Sequoyah Middle School, the opportunity to have two NBA players espouse the message of a healthy diet and active lifestyle pays major dividends. The eighth grade boys’ basketball coach, David Henry, helped coach one of the basketball stations during the clinic, and afterward described how helpful it was to have Aldrich and Jackson there to assist in the proceedings.
“It’s fantastic,” Henry said. “Anytime they can see these guys in person, it promotes basketball so much. Basketball is already bigger than it was ever since the Thunder got here. Anything like this just piques their interest in basketball and fitness.”
This isn’t the first time the Thunder has visited Sequoyah middle school. In fact, a group of players featuring Thabo Sefolosha and Serge Ibaka dropped in on the school in January for another Fit Clinic. Principal Jason Galloway and his staff thought the event was so beneficial for their students, they continued their relationship with the Thunder into this school year.
“It is awesome,” Galloway said. “Having us near their training facility makes it an easy thing. It’s a win-win for both programs. We’re just happy to have the Thunder here. They’re an outstanding organization and they just love being around kids and sharing the message that they share about fit and healthy living.”
For Jackson and Aldrich, this was one more opportunity for them to impact the Oklahoma City community before training camp begins on Monday. While the Thunder will continue to do plenty of service events in the Oklahoma City area during the season, the visit to Sequoyah Middle School was a nice chance for the Thunder duo to get in a little fun and games with the students before the hard work and intensity of the preseason- and then the 82-game regular season schedule- begins.
“The guys are back, it feels good,” Jackson said. “I’m just ready for everybody to be in one spot at one time and just get it going. I think everybody is just ready and anxious to get back and just get back to doing what we do.”