Former NBA player speaks at Cass Middle
The motivational speech Thursday by a former NBA player was a slam dunk with the kids at
Glenn told the students about growing up in a home where both of his parents were educators. He never missed a day of school in 12 years of public school. His mother, an elementary school teacher, made Glenn and his siblings have a daily study period, even during the summer; she would also always ask what he learned after every school day.
"If you had a speaker at your school, Mama wanted to know what lesson you learned," Glenn said.
One of the
lessons Glenn learned outside of school was good citizenship. His father was
the basketball coach at the
Though he would often ask his friends to come and hang out with him and the students at the deaf school, his friends would not always come along. He said although he was different from the students at the school, that difference did not stand in his way of making friends with the students.
"I learned that in your life, you might meet people different then you. Those people might become your best friends," he said.
"To me, I was just being what I was," Glenn said. "These people were my friends. Citizenship is just the relationship you have with your peers."
In June, Glenn's All-Star Basketball Camp for the Hearing-Impaired celebrated its 27th anniversary.
Glenn's presentation, which he gave to the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students, also included stories about a handful of historical figures.
He stressed the importance of education when he spoke about American abolitionist Frederick Douglass, whom he said he considered a personal hero, as Douglass knew the value of knowing how to read.
"He said, 'You mean if I learn to read and write, I won't be a slave anymore?' He knew that the pathway from slavery to freedom was through literacy," Glenn said.
Glenn spoke about Abraham Lincoln, saying that even after many previous political failures, he still ran for president and won. "Our goals will lead us despite the obstacles, tragedies and hardships in life," Glenn said.
Glenn also discussed American athlete Wilma Rudolph, who overcame polio to win three gold medals in the 1960 Olympics. He said those with athletic ability or other talents should not let their talents to go waste. "If you have it, you got to use it in a positive way, because people will watch you and emulate you," he said.
The stories Glenn shared, as well as a video of his basketball camp in action, drew applause from the seventh-grade students during his morning presentation. The sixth- and eighth-graders heard his presentation during two afternoon sessions.
"He was very impressed with the attentiveness of the kids," said Linda Hatcher, the school's sixth-grade principal.
was one of Glenn's classmates at
Hatcher said Glenn's presentations were well received by students and faculty.
"He went from character education and citizenship to history; he threw in a lot of history," she said. "Everyone I talked to was really impressed by his program."