By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun
Several former Coyotes laced up and took to the hardwood Wednesday to see if they could keep up with the swift and very agile Harlem Ambassadors basketball team.
Dubbed the “Coyotes Old Howlers,” San Jon School coaches and teachers, and former Coyote players, assisted in drills and demonstrations during the school hours and a nighttime finale.
The Ambassadors spoke to San Jon students during a morning assembly about saying no to drugs, making the right decisions and completing their education.
“We talk to the students and tell them about some of the struggles that we have been through so they can see that we have had to make hard choices in life, too,” said Harlem Ambassador T’Neisha “Lil’ T” Turner who has a degree in sports management from Wesley College. “To be an ambassador you must have or be pursuing a college degree.”
San Jon students also got to see some of their teachers in action during the assembly. Teachers were brought to center court to perform passing drills with a little flare from the Ambassadors tossed into the mix.
However, all the music and hype did not keep the students from remembering the Ambassadorsï¿½ message.
“I learned about staying away from drugs and staying in school,” said San Jon fifth-grader Chelsea Benally. “They also talked about choosing the right people to hang out with ï¿½ people who won’t get you in trouble.”
Later that night the gym was packed with San Jon residents and fans from around the county.
Fans seemed to appreciate the Ambassadors basketball skills and good-natured humor. There also were prizes, for a few lucky fans, including an autographed basketball and official team gear.
“The Ambassadors came down to talk to the kids about the dangers of drugs and the importance of an education,” said San Jon science teacher Tommy Thomspon. “They also put on a great show tonight playing against us old Coyotes for a good cause. I am really happy that they came down.”
At the end of the show, the Ambassadors signed autographs for numerous fans.
“I enjoyed watching them dunk, and all the tricks that they did,” said fifth-grader Wyatt Strand. “I also liked watching the teachers do the tricks at the assembly this morning.”