Nov. 3, 2009
HOUSTON - HOUSTON - Six University of Houston men's and women's basketball players recently took time from their busy academic and athletics schedules to read to elementary school children.
Men's players Nick Haywood, Kirk Van Slyke, Bryce Clark and Kahmell Broughton and women's players Zalika Dyson and Megan Workman visited Harvard Elementary School as part of their annual Literacy Night for children and their parents.
The players read to small groups of children, toured the school and visited with students and their parents throughout the evening.
"Young kids look up to us, and it helps to have someone like us read to them and tell them how important school is," Haywood said. "If they want to be a student-athlete and play basketball in college when they grow up, they have to take care of school."
One of the most popular reading choices was Salt in his Shoes: Michael Jordan in Pursuit of a Dream, written by Deloris Jordan, the mother of the NBA superstar.
The Cougars were a big hit among the students and were invited to participate in another event at the school next month.
This is only the latest in a string of community outreach programs by Cougar coaches, administrators and student-athletes, who have worked in campus facility tours, reading incentive programs, drug awareness, motivational speaking, hospital visits, TAKS Test pep rallies and food and clothing drives.
UP NEXT FOR THE COUGARS
Both teams have been practicing since Oct. 16. The men's team opens its season at 7 p.m., Nov. 17, when it plays host to Nicholls State inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The women's team meets the Houston Jaguars at 7 p.m., Nov. 9, in an exhibition game inside Hofheinz Pavilion before opening the season at 6 p.m. (CST), Nov. 13, at Gardner Webb.