Jan. 10, 2012
RUSTON, La. - Part of the philosophy for Louisiana Tech head coach Mike White in building the Bulldog basketball program is community involvement ... giving back to Ruston and the surrounding areas.
Assistant coach Derrick Jones and Bulldog players Brandon Gibson, Cordarius Johnson and Kenyon McNeail did exactly that Monday as the foursome visited fourth graders at Cypress Springs Elementary School in Ruston.
"This was a great opportunity for our players to serve as mentors to students at Cypress Springs," said Jones. "It was as beneficial for Brandon, Cordarius and Kenyon as hopefully it was for those students."
The players talked to the students about the importance of an education and how their educational experiences growing up have given them opportunities to play basketball at the collegiate level. Gibson also shared some of his experiences with school yard bullies during his elementary school days and gave advice on how to handle such situations.
With the Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP) tests approaching for area fourth graders, Jones discussed the importance of doing well on the exam and how it will help them in the near future. He also talked about how getting a good education will affect them the rest of their lives.
The visit was not all talk as Jones taught the students a basketball game called "Beat Michael Jordan" which was demonstrated by Johnson and McNeail. In the game every made shot is plus one point while every miss is negative two points. The object of the game is to reach five points before the individual reaches negative five points.
Jones said that later this spring the entire team will return to Cypress Springs Elementary in order to do more activities with the students.
Gibson, Johnson and McNeail will lead the Bulldogs into this week's Western Athletic Conference home games against Idaho (Thursday) and Utah State (Saturday).