New Orleans Pelicans staff visits Thames Elementary School
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - Students at Thames Elementary School tested their basketball skills as members of the New Orleans Pelican’s staff visited the Pine Belt.
Some of the drills included footwork, ball handling and shooting, but the ultimate lesson was teamwork.
“Most importantly, we want them to do three things,” said youth coach Jason Lapouble. “We want them to have fun; makes some memories out here with us, and also become good teammates, because that’s what we believe our Pelicans team is, a bunch of good teammates, on and off the court.
“That translates to a lot of success. That’s what we’re hoping to bring here today.”
The Pelicans partnered with Hancock-Whitney Bank in an effort to continue community projects like the mural paintings on the court used during the visit.
“We talked about this a few months ago when we were here cutting the ribbon on all of this work,” Hancock-Whitney representative Shawn Harris said. “We were like ‘Man, let’s get the Pelicans up here to use the court and engage with the students here at Thames.’
“It’s one thing to do work on the court and park, but we want to be in the children’s lives, and this is a great way to do that.”
The academic coach says the district is thankful for any opportunity to get the children involved in the community.
“Any time that we can bring the community in for the kids, we always jump on that opportunity” Heidi Hackbart said. “We have a great partnership with Hancock-Whitney, and they made this possible for our kids. They need the experience and exposure.”
After the visit, the students left with a Pelican’s T-shirt and memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.
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