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My Surprise Visit to a Healthy School

Last week I had the opportunity to surprise some amazing student-athletes to celebrate their healthy habits and hard work. While most of the time I get to see them in action in the classroom, I was able to work with them in my normal workplace: the basketball court. 

I was connected to the Alliance for a Healthier Generation through the Wasserman Foundation and since getting involved, I’ve had the chance to celebrate healthy school changes with hundreds of students and staff. Last week I visited the basketball teams at Langston Hughes High School in Fairburn, GA, to do just that. And I have to say, it makes me proud that the schools in my state are making major strides to keep their students eating right and moving more with the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program.

This visit was extra special because I got the chance to speak to kids on my own turf – the basketball court.

The basketball court is where the story of my healthier generation begins and what drives me to maintain my health. And that’s what I wanted to share with the kids while showing them what all is possible when you take care of your body.

For me, I didn’t realize the power of developing healthy habits until I entered college. That’s when I learned that I needed to get enough sleep, eat the right foods, and stay active so that I would have the mental fortitude to balance the demands of college academics with the physical demands of competing at the collegiate level.

These kids have a chance to create these healthy lifestyles, excel in the classroom, and up their game on the court or whatever their activity of choice is. That’s the message I hope the kids walked away with.

But at least I know they walked away with their daily 60 minutes of physical activity.  After I shared my story, I joined the girls and boys basketball teams for practice and showed them two of my favorite basketball drills.  While both drills make you sweat and make your legs burn, they are my favorite drills not only because it’s fun, but because it make me better.  

The important thing is not only to get your work done on the court in front of your coaches and teammates, but continue working and being healthy when nobody is watching.  And in the end, I think that translates into healthy living as well.

Thanks for a great time Langston Hughes High School! I’ll be keeping track of your record this season—on and off the court.

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