South Vienna students learn about perseverance with basketball speaker

Basketball and life can have its challenges, but with teamwork and believing in yourself any goal can be achieved.

That’s the message South Vienna Elementary School students heard Wednesday when they gathered in the gymnasium to watch Jim “Basketball” Jones perform and teach a positive message.

Jones is a motivational speaker who travels to schools to share positive messages with students using basketball tricks and lessons.

“You have to engage kids in activity and then touch their heart and then their minds will be ready to learn,” Jones said. “Learning can be fun and it should be fun. My programs are extremely fun but they have a lot of content and messages to them.”

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Jones spoke to more than 100 students and showed them his best basketball moves in an attempt to motivate them to be their best this school year.

First-grade student Oliva Whip said her favorite part of the program was singing with Basketball Jones. She said she learned a lot from his performance.

“To always try my best and help each other and don’t give up,” she said. “And to help others. If they ask me to help them I can help them.”

The program at the beginning of the year was put on to reach the students early and to show them they can accomplish anything they set their minds to, South Vienna Principal Denise Jones said.

“Kids can develop their potential,” Jones said. “When they come into an environment where there are music and movement it helps them learn.”

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She said every student is different but they all need encouragement and the performance helps with that.

“I hope the kids believe we all have goals and that we all have a path that we are on,” she said. “No one’s journey is the same, but we do have a greatness in each of us. And we need to develop our inner-strength.”

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