Ex-NBA center speaks to children about teamwork and making right choices in life


sean-rooks-la-clippersFormer professional basketball player Sean Rooks was a speaker at Career Day at Jacob Wiens Elementary School on Friday, May 18, the Press Enterprise reported.

Rooks, from Fontana and the University of Arizona, spent 12 years in the NBA, playing for the Lakers, Clippers, Mavericks, Timberwolves, Hawks, Magic and Hornets.

In his rookie season, Rooks averaged 13.5 ppg, 7.4 rpg and 1.1 bpg for the Mavericks.

He holds career averages of 6.2 ppg and 3.8 rpg in 18.1 minutes per game. Rooks played in a total of 749 NBA games, starting in 230 of them.

Rooks is now a coach, and just returned from three months in China.

He is friends with Wiens Principal Dana Childs-Mazzei, a former college basketball player at UCLA.

The 6-foot-10 Rooks towered over the children as he spoke about teamwork and making the right choices in life.

“Sports and life go hand in hand,” he said.

Rooks also told children not to let others bring them down.

“Don’t let anyone steal your shine,” he said.

Childs-Mazzei said Career Day was started at the school to let the children know that there is life beyond high school.

“Almost 40 percent of the parents at the school did not graduate from high school,” she said.

Other presenters spoke about topics such as public safety, utilities, community service, finances and writing.

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