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Thursday, May 25, 2017
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Members of the Washington-Marion basketball team paid a visit to Pearl Watson Elementary to promote literacy. (Rick Hickman / American Press) 


Members of the Washington-Marion basketball team paid a visit to Pearl Watson Elementary to promote literacy. (Rick Hickman / American Press) 


Washington-Marion basketball team members read to students

Last Modified: Saturday, March 18, 2017 8:43 AM

By Lisa Addison / American Press

Members of the Washington-Marion High School boys’ basketball team told students on Friday at Pearl Watson Elementary that the students could make their dreams come true if they worked hard and did well in school.

The team knows something about making dreams come true since they recently won the Class 4-A state title — the first time in 30 years that the Charging Indians have achieved that honor.

Michael Thomas, No. 4 and a point guard, attended Pearl Watson from pre-K to fifth grade, and said, “Today means a lot to me. To see these kids looking up to us and for me to be able to tell them that anything is possible is huge.”

Thomas and his teammates visited classes of all grades and took turns reading books to them in a campuswide effort to promote literacy.

Second-grader Joshua Duncan, said, “I can’t believe I get to meet real champions. I’m very, very excited. They are superstars.”

A’pel Anderson, a second-grader, said, “Michael Thomas is my cousin, and I’m proud of him. I got to see him play at some of his games, and it was so exciting.”

Da’Vantre Vitor, No. 13 and a point guard, said, “It’s important to give back, and that’s what we’re trying to do today by visiting with the students. This community has really supported us and we want to be there for them too.”

Demetrius Malvo, a member of the 1987 Washington-Marion boys basketball team — which won the school’s previous championship — looked on as the team visited with students and said, “We beat St. Thomas More that year, with 1 second left in the game. I’ll never, ever forget it. I’m proud of this team for bringing in another state title for Washington-Marion.”

Second-grader Stacy Wilson Jr., said, “I love basketball and hope I can play on a winning team one day. Now I know that I can do it because this team did and they live in the same city I do.”

Kieraonna Fontenot, a fourth-grader, said, “I was so surprised that they came to our school to spend time with us because I know they must have a lot on their plate since they just won a championship and they have to go to school too. It makes me so happy that they came to see us. I got autographs from all of them, and they said they were glad to give us their autographs. I found out they are also good students and their coach said they are all 3.0 students or above.”

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