Siloam Springs, Ark. (March 15, 2006) - The John Brown Golden Eagles took time out of their game day schedule to speak to a couple of hundred elementary school children Wednesday morning in Kansas City. The presentation was part of the NAIA’s Champions of Character program and the 2006 Buffalo Funds-NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Championship. The children visited from Fairmount Elementary and Troost Academy in Kansas City. The Golden Eagles are the defending National Champions.
Assistant coach Donnie Bostwick introduced the team to the gathering of school children in Bartle Hall at the Kansas City Convention Center. Golden Eagle players spoke about the Champions of Character program’s core values of respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership, and sportsmanship.
Sophomore forward Diogenes Molina, an engineering major from Ocumare del Tuy, Venezuela, talked to the children about respect. Senior guard Brandon Cole assisted Molina in performing a skit demonstrating the importance of that core value. Cole presented a dead-on impersonation of Bostwick pushing the team during a typical JBU practice. Bostwick wrapped up the segment by explaining to the kids how important it is for their coaches, teachers, and parents to push them to be successful.
Sophomore guard Todd Frazier, a history major from Montgomery, Texas, headed up the segment on responsibility. He spoke about the responsibility players and students have to work hard and improve themselves in response to the type of prodding Molina, Cole, and Bostwick demonstrated earlier.
Sophomore Tyler Dees, a business administration major from Siloam Springs, Ark., spoke on integrity. The theme of the skit he performed with Cole, Bostwick, senior guard Alex Terry, and senior athletic trainer CaraJean Wilson emphasized the importance of being honest.
Sophomore forward John Williams, a business major from Houston, taught on servant leadership in a skit with freshman forward Oscar Sealy. Bostwick then selected a student from the audience to commit a “charging violation” on Williams as a way of demonstrating the sacrifice of leadership.
Sealy, a business administration major from Panama City, Panama, then gave a brief talk on sportsmanship. He began by asking some of the kids for their definition of sportsmanship. He, Dees, Williams, and Cole then performed a skit set in the locker room of a losing team to give an example of poor sportsmanship. Sealy then asked for audience feedback about the attitudes displayed in the act.
Bostwick closed the program by fielding questions for nearly ten minutes. The team then mingled with the students and gave autographs.
Troost fifth-grader Anthony Sherrils said of the presentation, “I thought it was pretty cool. I like to play basketball, and it’s good to learn the different qualities you need.”
Third-grader Chris Harris, also from Troost, said when asked what he learned, “I learned to never give up and to do my best.”
Troost third-grader Taneika McHenry said her favorite part of the presentation was, “Talking about responsibility and respect and all those things.”
The Champions of Character presentations are an annual part of the tournament.
The Golden Eagles face 6th-seeded Azusa Pacific at 8:45 Wednesday evening. The game will be televised locally in Kansas City on Metro Sports (ch. 38), and will be broadcast on radio by 1290 AM KUOA in Siloam Springs. KUOA is also allowing the game to be streamed live on the web via www.jbu.edu.