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Leprechauns @ Lebanon Middle School

The Leprechauns went back to middle school on Thursday and they had an awesome time! Lebanon Middle School invited the team and the Emerald Spirit Dancers out to hang out with the kids. In attendance were Brie Taylor (Emerald Spirit Dance Team), Joe Retic II #13, Logan Hinton #9, Zavier Turner #1, Sul Suatim #0, Ronin Green #6, Vice President of Operations Britney Nickle, our Assistant Coach Tim Hird, and about 450 middle school kids and teachers.

Ah, middle school, that time in one's life when we are really figuring ourselves out as individuals. Dreams and goals become clearer. Lessons are learned how to reach those dreams and goals. Focus, dedication, and determination tools are starting to be learned and utilized. An extremely impressionable time in a human's life.

While the group had a ton of fun together, lessons and advice were passed to the kids. Talk of hard work, determination to reach your goals, and creating that strong foundation with solid academic dedication and explaining what each of those important things meant to each individual. I am VERY proud of our Leprechaun FAM, on the court and off, truly amazing people. The way they spoke with ease and meaning, just impressive.

Lebanon middle schoolers were HYPED to play knockout against the guys. Props to Mr. Williams for being incredible in the knockout tournament. The kids were very proud watching their teacher shoot and sink several half-court baskets. The guy was GOOD. True entertainment for all.

Community outreach is extremely important. Any time there is an opportunity, the team shows up and puts in their best work. These guys/girls have a massive responsibility of being role models to these kids and they take it seriously. This is a huge part of the mission they hold close to their hearts and the community shows up for them just as much. It is what an organization like this needs and our Leprechauns have no problem knowing what is important and putting in work for our community.

"To me, community is everything. Supporting local businesses, schools, and people has always been something I'm extremely passionate about. but most importantly the kids. Being a positive influence and figure that they can look up to is my biggest motivation. I believe sports play a major role in kids lives; from staying physically active, to meeting new people, introducing teamwork, and building social skills. It was an absolute honor to speak/share my journey and interact with the kids. Hopefully I was able to inspire at least one person to chase their dreams, no matter how unlikely they may seem. I would like to personally thank everyone who helped make this event possible."

-Logan Hinton #9

Well said Logan, what an admirable person it takes to put that kind of work in and have that compassion for these kids. Thank you Logan for creating memories with all of the middle schoolers who need positive role models and providing access to just that within their own community. The kids were really excited to meet you and play alongside you. It was incredible to watch.

"Community outreach is so important to all of us on Emerald Spirit because being able to give back to our community who gives so much to us is the least we can do. We remember the impact of meeting pro dancers as little girls and how much that changed our lives, so being able to now be the role models in our community and inspire the next generation is something we are incredibly passionate about."

-Brie Taylor

Brie was amazing! She took the time between signing autographs to tell her story and answer questions. She told them of her college work and reminded them that the core foundation of working hard in school is the most important. She encouraged these kids to work hard and follow their dreams!

"It’s important to get out in the community and show that we are bigger than basketball. We’re fortunate to play this game but it’s also about those we can impact through our journey provided by this game. We have the opportunity to uplift kids and give them an empowering experience. I truly believe it’s our responsibility to be a servant to others. Whether that’s serving individuals who may not be as fortunate or visiting schools throughout the community. It’s a way to build support and build a stronger society."

-Joe Retic II

What could I even attempt to add to that powerful statement? Acts of service within our community is the responsibility of our Leprechauns. A responsibility they take rather seriously and act on vigorously. They may seem like larger than life athletes but at the end of the day, they are human beings, human beings with heart and determination to make good in this world.

To Lebanon Middle School, thank you for sharing this convocation with the Leprechauns. Hopefully a positive lesson was passed on to the next generation. I seriously hope that each one of those children had a great time and learned at least one or two things from the FAM. I hope that you the community, the reader, have learned a thing or two about the importance of community outreach and the importance of acts of service.

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