Trumann coach organizes mentoring program

Monday, October 6, 2014

Every Wednesday since the beginning of Sept., Trumann High School basketball players have been taking time out of their practice to mentor younger children in the district. Trumann High School Head Basketball Coach Dion Real started the Basketball Buddies program involving his players and students at Cedar Park Elementary.

"Our main goal is to guide the younger kids to stay out of trouble, keep their grades up, and motivate them to do what's right," Real said.

The players attend the elementary school to present motivational speeches, read, and spend meaningful time in K-4 classrooms for 15 to 20 minutes. Real said the program has been used as a teaching tool, not only for the younger kids, but for his team, as well.

"It's helping our guys feel good about themselves to keep up their grades and stay out of trouble," Real said.

Real plans to have a Wildcat Basketball Day before Thanksgiving break to kick-off the basketball season. On Wildcat Basketball Day, the team will go to CPE to sign autographs, demonstrate a few drills, and reinforce the importance of good grades and great behavior.

He also plans to have a Cedar Park Elementary Basketball Night in December, where CPE students can sit in the student section to really support their basketball buddy during the game. After the season ends, the coach plans to start the program again in the spring.

"I'm very proud of my team's response," Real said. "It's all about the students at the end of the day, the players and the kids at the elementary school. It's pretty easy for me to organize, but they are the ones that are doing all the work."

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