The Harlem Ambassadors are a basketball team that travels around their world with their message. The team uses their personal stories to encourage kids to love themselves and be strong against drugs. They mix that message will a little dancing and a little basketball.
Monday they were at Churubusco Jr. High School where Third through 8th graders packed the gym today to watch them dunk!
But they're not just there to show off. They're telling kids to stay off drugs and stay in school. Their personal stories teach kids that message. Corey Thomeson, a player for Harlem Ambassadors, says “I was always taller than everybody when I was growing up so everybody expected me to be the best player on the team, but that wasn't the case. I continued to practice until I became one of the best players, so that's what I tell them. You guys have to persevere; you're not always going to be the best.”
The team's been in 20 different countries, and all 50 states. They say their message is well received. Lade Majic, the Coach for Harlem Ambassadors, says “When they see the tricks the dunking and just the tenacity we have we like to dance. We like to play basketball. We like to talk to young people. When they see how much fun we are having then it relates to them because they want to have fun also.”
They like to have fun, but take the job of being a role model very seriously. Lade Majic says “The first thing, you must be drug free. I believe we are the only team in American that allows any organization that partners with us to drug test us. 2nd requirement, each performer must have a college degree.”
The team will play a charity basketball game Tuesday night at the high school, against teachers and coaches.