Perfect Attendance Pays Off
Houston, Texas: As a reward for having perfect attendance through the first nine weeks, North Shore Senior High School Assistant Principal Kenneth Bryant arranged for Houston Rocket Dwight Howard to visit with students. More than 1,000 students listened intently as Howard encouraged them to stay in school, focus on their goals, and remain drug free.
Looking up at Dwight Howard who stands at 6í 11”, it's hard to imagine, growing up he was told he was too small; he would never be in the NBA. “All I heard was people telling me I couldn't do something… I didn't listen, because my goal was to make it. My goal was to be successful.” He also told a story of one of his teammates who was drafted to the NBA, but is now in prison. “This guy was a great basketball player, but now he has to live the rest of his life behind bars because of decisions he made by being around the wrong people,” Howard said. The highly successful Rocket did offer encouragement to the students, stating, “Just make sure whatever you do, stay focused on your goal. If you have a dream, hold on to it. Don't let anybody tell you you can't be who you want to be. “But he also gave a warning, “You only get one life. If you mess it up with drugs… if you mess it up with drinking… you ain't gonna make it,” he said.
As an avid user of modern technology, Howard warned them about social media and the disruption it can cause. “We live in a crazy social media driven society. I don't want you guys getting caught up in what's around you…caught up in the Internet and social media because it can distract you from what your purpose is in life,” he said. “Social media is great…but sometimes put that phone down. Get to know the person next to you. Push that person to be greater than what they are right now. The more you do that, the better you all will become,” he added. He followed this with a story of classmates he grew up with who were just as good as he was at basketball. “The difference is, they just weren't as focused. They allowed everything else to distract them from making it to where they could have been,” he said. To complete his visit the NBA superstar took questions before heading off to practice.
The students were buzzing with the excitement of having an NBA superstar talk to them, encourage them, and speak to their hearts. For more than 1,000 students at North Shore Senior High School, perfect attendance paid off.
Pictured: Houston Rocket standout Dwight Howard visited with students at North Shore Senior High School, encouraging them to stay focused on their goals.
Pictured: After detailing stories from his life and motivating the students, Dwight Howard answered the students' questions.
Jonathan Frey | Coordinator for Media and Community Relations | firstname.lastname@example.org | 832.386.1231