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Parkside Elementary school welcomes Atl. Hawks Joe Smith

Atlanta Hawks’ forward Joe Smith took a little time off to go to Parkside Elementary last March to read “How To Train Your Dragon”.

This was the first time I’d been back in an elementary school since, well,  I don’t remember.  Although things have changed quite a bit, I kept getting little flashbacks of my elementary school career and how everything seemed so big back then.  I was tempted to try to squeeze into one of those little desks while we waited, but if I got stuck, it would be pretty embarrassing walking around with a little desk wedged around my waist the rest of the day.

Speaking of big, or tall rather, the 6-foot-10 Joe Smith came in and towered over the school kids.  It was quite impressive.  Joe was very accommodating, taking time to pose for some photos, greeting everyone in the room and then reading to the kids as they all sat listening wide eyed and star stuck.

Hawks' Joe Smith Poses with kids.

Later, Joe was given a personal tour by a few of the boys to the school garden.  It’s a pretty awesome little green awareness project that teaches kids about recycling, planting, and taking care of our environment.

It was a great experience and suddenly another flashback to my school days flared up and I was eight years old again listening to a different professional basketball player as he spoke to me and my classmates about drugs (that was the thing to talk about in the 80s).  Jumpin Joe was his name, and though I don’t quite remember who he was, who he played for or even what he said, I remember being impressed by him and I had his signed poster on my wall for years.  When a role model like that (or any adult for that matter) takes time to share their experiences and talents with kids, well, that’s pretty cool stuff

-Nate Dorn

The Sporting News

“Maturity requires the concentration we had as a child at play.”

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