Abrines, Kanter Honor MLK With Book Bus

by Jimmy Do | okcthunder.com

Photography by Zach Beeker | OKC Thunder

Celebrating the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thunder teammates Alex Abrines and Enes Kanter made sure each of the 60 third-graders at Millwood Elementary had a copy of “Martin’s Big Words” by the end of the school day.

Clutching his very own copy of the MLK picture book biography and bearing a toothy grin, young JaMarco held the book against his teal-colored hoodie to savor the moment. The third-grader just met Kanter, his favorite Thunder player, on the Rolling Thunder Book Bus, presented by American Fidelity.

After dismounting the steps of the bus, the Thursday afternoon backdrop of overcast skies accompanied by chilly low-30ish temps could not curb the awe and excitement of this young reader on meeting the affable Turkish center who made a positive impression on the kids.

“I just want to be like him. This meant a lot to me,” said the Millwood student. “It helps me to be good at school. It helps me to be good at home and show respect.”

In tandem with Kanter, Spanish sharpshooter Abrines shared in the joy of scanning through the library collection and seeing the faces of the boys and girls light up after locating their favorites.

“It’s good to be with the kids and let them know reading books is important," said Abrines. “For us being with them and helping them to choose one is such a great thing.”

Adding to his already robust civic portfolio in the local community, Kanter viewed his first foray on the book bus as one of his favorite ways to connect with young minds and promote education.

“It’s definitely one of my favorites, because it’s about school. It’s about education,” said Kanter. “Reading is fun. The most important thing is learning.”

The surprise visit was not only about whetting the students’ appetite for reading, but it also gave the duo a chance to imbue an ethos for the kids centered on laying the groundwork for a bright future.

“They see us on the court play basketball, but then see us here to tell them the importance of reading, school work and education.” said Kanter.

I want to be like Enes. Millwood student JaMarco meets Kanter face-to-face when he spots his favorite Thunder player inside the bus.

Smiles and books all around. Abrines grabs a stack of titles from the ever-popular sports section inside the book bus.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" Kanter not only serves as a librarian for the day, but also as a career counselor for the students.

When worlds collide. A young football fan gets some reading material with an assist from Abrines.

Selfie Season. To the delight of the Millwood students, the Thunder duo takes a send-off selfie.

Watch: Abrines-Kanter Book Bus Wows Students


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