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Q and A with NBA All-Star Al Horford

When I arrived at Parkside Elementary School, I was greeted by Coach Braddy, who was jumping up and down with excitement. I overheard the Parkside cheerleaders practicing a “Go Hawks” cheer, and I could see the students in their school wellness council holding up photos of me. What a welcome!

I got to meet the kindergarteners and give them all a high-five (in my case, it was a low-five!). I told them how important it is to stay healthy, eat fruits and vegetables, and drink lots of water. And then over to the school gym, where I met with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders to talk about healthy living and answer their questions.

Here are a few of their questions and my answers:

Q: When you were in elementary school, what was your favorite subject?
A: Social Studies

Q: What’s it like playing for the Hawks?
A: For me, it’s a dream come true. My favorite part is being able to play with my teammates and have fun out there together. The friendships you make on a team, and throughout your life, are what is most meaningful. Also, winning is always nice.

Q: Are you very cooperative with your team?
A: Yes. It’s really important to respect each other and get along. Respect is one of the most critical aspects of team sports because if you work together, you can achieve so much more.

Q: Are you a hard worker?
A: Work ethic is everything, guys. Whether playing a sport or doing anything in life, hard work pays off. I learned from a young age that I had to work hard. If I didn’t get good grades, my mom wouldn’t allow me to play basketball. On the court, I wasn’t the most talented but I worked the hardest. I have the same approach today. Hard work has allowed me to accomplish my goals.  

Q: Are you a great playmaker?
A: I don't want to brag but yeah, you could say that (laughs). I like to make plays.

Q:  When you were young, who were your basketball heroes?
A:  Shaq. I liked watching him.  And Tim Duncan, who is still playing.

Q: When you were a kid, did you ever meet your hero face to face and get to shake his hand (like I am, now)?
A: No, I guess not!

It’s been great sharing the message of healthy living with students this year as an ambassador of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the Wasserman Foundation. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2015!

The kids were so great I had to get a video. Here's a look at the welcome cheer I received which was caught on camera by one of the great staff.

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