LaMarcus Aldridge Sends Kids Back To School With New Backpacks

The image of LaMarcus Aldridge in a Spurs jersey was the cause of celebration in South Texas and a highlight of a busy Spurs offseason.

For 9-year-old Leighann Casias, Aldridge’s image keeps her hair in place while she’s dribbling.

Casias wore a hair bow with an image of Aldridge on it when she met the new Spurs forward on Saturday.

She was one of about 150 elementary school students who met Aldridge and received a new backpack from him as part of LaMarcus Aldridge’s Back To School Bash at George Gervin Academy.

 “I think he’s really good at basketball, so I like him a lot,” she said. “He’s already my favorite player.”

In his first public appearance as a Spur, Aldridge gave out backpacks filled with school supplies to elementary school students from the Boys and Girls Club and George Gervin Academy. The backpacks and supplies were courtesy of H-E-B. 

“We’re just trying to help the kids get started off with school right,” Aldridge said. “This is a new community for me, so I want to get off to a good start.”

[[{"fid":"86403","view_mode":"default","fields":{"format":"default","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"","field_file_image_title_text[und][0][value]":""},"type":"media","attributes":{"class":"media-element file-default"}}]]

Aldridge spoke to the students about the importance of education, telling them that his mother made sure school was his priority or he wouldn’t get to play basketball.

“I think kids see us playing basketball on the court and they don’t realize what it took to get here or to stay here,” he said. “It’s important to teach the kids that education is important and is the key to getting anywhere in life.”

Aldridge has done similar back-to-school events in Portland and his hometown of Dallas.  Now, he said he’s excited to give back in San Antonio.

He said he participated in Boys and Girls Club events while growing up, giving Saturday’s event a lot of personal meaning to him.

The backpacks were filled with a year’s worth of school supplies. The children also got to see The Coyote and Silver Dancers perform, got their faces painted and played knockout with Spurs Sports & Entertainment employees as part of the festivities. Aldridge had a photo printer hired for the event so that every student left with a framed photo with Aldridge and an autograph.

 “These kids are going to go back to school with big smiles,” said Zuani Villarreal of the Boys and Girls Club of San Antonio. “We serve at-risk kids, and it’s so important for them to get these backpacks full of supplies. To meet LaMarcus is an incredible bonus.”

Aldridge also sat down with Gervin, and the Hall of Famer said Aldridge would end up loving San Antonio and staying just like he did.

“An event like this shows what kind of guy he is,” Gervin said. “This is the first thing he does in San Antonio and he’s thinking about things that are important to the community. He’s thinking about education awareness. He’s a perfect fit in San Antonio.”