Editorial: URI hoops stars — leading by example

Posted 1/28/18

The youngsters had all heard that working hard, keeping promises, getting good grades, believing in yourself are good things, and they’ll hear it again and again.

Preaching it is one thing - …

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Editorial: URI hoops stars — leading by example

Posted

The youngsters had all heard that working hard, keeping promises, getting good grades, believing in yourself are good things, and they’ll hear it again and again.

Preaching it is one thing - living it another and that’s just what a bunch of wide-eyed Pocasset School students witnessed recently.

The University of Rhode Island mens basketball team might have been forgiven for hitting the snooze button and sending regrets to the Tiverton school that day.

The night before they had given their all in a road victory over St. Louis, then taken a red-eye flight home, not landing in Rhode Island until 2 a.m. But such things happen in life and people aren’t much interested in excuses.

Next morning there they and the cheerleaders were at Pocasset School, greeting students at morning assembly with a high-five tunnel and warm smiles.

And they didn’t just sleep-walk their way through. This visit wasn’t out of obligation, their enthusiasm said, but something they’d looked forward to.

Whether sharing a private laugh with a shy second grader, or hoisting a little child high for a first-ever dunk, it was as though this was a get-together of old buddies. Which, in a way, it was since the team visited Pocasset last year too.

That time, the message was more about bullying.

The children had also probably been told over and over that bullying is bad, but it’s somehow more convincing coming from some of the biggest, strongest, coolest people you’d ever want to meet. When these guys say they aren’t in the least impressed by bullies, several even have unhappy memories of being bullied themselves, you take notice. If somebody like this can be bullied, maybe I’m not so weird after all.

The URI Rams are well along to one of their best seasons ever — a top 25 team and good bet for the NCAA tournament.

But whatever comes next, nothing they do on that big stage can surpass what happened in the tiny Pocasset School gymnasium that early morning. This season is already a success.

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Scott Pickering

Scott Pickering has been on the East Bay Newspapers team for more than two decades, since starting as a reporter for the Sakonnet Times. He's been editor of most of the papers, was Managing Editor of all the papers for many years, and became General Manager in 2012. Today he can be found posting to EastBayRI.com, steering news coverage, writing editorials, talking to readers, working with the sales team, collaborating on design, or helping do whatever it takes to get the papers out the door. Reach him at spickering@eastbaynewspapers.com.