Thunder Fit Hits James L. Capps Middle School
The Thunder has been on the road for the past week and has two days at home before going back out on another week-long road trip. Despite the opportunity to rest at their houses, four Thunder players decided to take time out of their day off on Thursday to visit James L. Capps Middle School in Warr Acres for the Thunder Fit program. Nazr Mohammed, Daequan Cook, Cole Aldrich and Reggie Jackson all helped over 60 sixth through eighth graders learn some healthy eating and exercise habits.
“I think that’s just who we are as a team. As a whole, we love getting out in the community and giving back,” Jackson said. “I believe it’s our hash-tag on twitter. No days off… It’s just fun getting back and seeing all these smiles on these kids’ faces.”
With a dribbling station led by Jackson and Aldrich, a basketball shooting station led by Cook and Mohammed and nutrition and cardio exercise stations, these lucky middle schoolers had a chance to not only mingle with NBA stars and local heroes but also learn valuable lessons. Jackson simulated taking a charge on the court, while Thunder Director of Youth Basketball Tyler Blackwell encouraged the students to take charge of their eating and exercise habits, along with their dreams.
“The biggest thing, on top of fitness, that we’re trying to teach them is just set your goals high,” Blackwell said. “Dream big, go after them, you guys can accomplish and do anything that you put your mind to.”
As expected the students were rapt with attention when the Thunder players and staff passed along their knowledge and advice. From learning about the food pyramid to practicing proper stretching and warm-up exercises, the students came away with some great take-home lessons. The most special part of the day however, was their interaction with the players. One sixth grader, Tyus, ws so enthused that he had the Oklahoma City Thunder logo shaved into his hair.
“It’s a huge deal for our kids,” Lebsack said. “They don’t get the opportunity to attend a lot of games, so this is bringing it to them so we just thank the organization so much for coming and allowing our kids to be a part of something like this.”
It wouldn’t have been a Thunder event if defense hadn’t been a major focal point, as Aldrich and Jackson helped the students get into the proper defensive stance. On the other end, Cook demonstrated how to stop for a pull-up jump shot. Overall, it was just as great of a day for the middle school children at James L. Capps as it was for the Thunder players who took some time out of their day to impact young lives.
“It’s so much fun to come out here,” Aldrich said. “Giving back to the little kids that support us and go through all those things, just to come out here and teach them some basketball skills is always fun.”