Former NBA center Sean Rooks gives inspirational speech to 500 students


sean-rooksStanding at 6’10”, former NBA player Sean Rooks towered above the elementary school children and staff at Galileo Academy to speak to the students about the importance of being a good teammate and to inspire them to have discipline, vvdailypress reported.

Rooks, who was an instant hit with his young fans, captured the audience’s attention by saying he played basketball with big name players such as Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom and Steve Nash during his 12-year career in the NBA.

Rooks gave an inspirational speech to almost 500 kindergarten-through-sixth-grade students on the basketball court at Galileo, with Rooks’ head almost touching the net.

“I want you guys to see how sports is related to life at school,” Rooks said.

Rooks covered numerous subjects, ranging from basic self-care, to nutrition and bullying and tied it all in to being a good team-player.

“What is our goal? Our goal is to win,” Rooks said. “We have to find ways to get along and improve, you talk things out, you improve as a student because the goal is to win. This is stuff that you guys have to remember, because sports, schoolwork, class, life — it’s all very similar.

“What you put out there is what you’re going to get. If you work heard and believe in yourself, then that’s what you’re going to get out of it. You’re going to become a better student. You’re going to become a better person and you’re going to become better towards each other.”

Galileo Principal Anita Campbell said that the school has been focusing on providing students with positive adult role models, and that Rooks is one of several speakers that are coming to give presentations to the students.

Towards the end of Rook’s lecture, he took a folded $5 bill out of his pocket and straightened it out and showed it to the students. Rooks then crumpled it up, stomped on it, and said that he would throw it is the dust.

“Raise your hand if you still want it,” Rooks asked. “Why do you still want it? Because it’s still a five dollar bill. No matter what I did to it, it didn’t lose it’s worth. You are this five dollar bill. Matter of fact, you’re a one hundred dollar bill. Never lose your worth.”

Rooks explained to the students that there’s gong to be times in their lives that they’re going to be challenged, not going to feel very good, not going to feel confident and someone will put them down.

“But guess what, you’ll never lose your worth,” Rooks said. “Just like this money.”

Rooks played 11 years in the NBA, for Dallas Mavericks, Minnesota Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks, LA Lakers, LA Clippers, New Orleans Hornets and Orlando Magic.

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.

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