Bobby Hunter, SportsBlog.com Presents: Legends Corner- Featuring continuous and compelling blogs written by NBA veterans, Legends Corner is the content hub for some of basketball's most legendary players. on
Tuesdays have been legendary days for Seagull High School students, for the past four years. Legendary, yes, original Harlem Globetrotter Bobby Zorro Hunter/ 2002 Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee attends Ms. Caroline Penland's class to mentor students.
Bobby would say that the students really mentor him. While at Seagull, the septuagenarian has become a social media magnet--learning to navigate his IPhone, make podcasts, videos, began twittering, started blogging and even developed a facebook page.
"I am sorry I ever got that Facebook page, I don't know where all those people contacting me came from, and they all think I have big money to give away" stated Hunter with a hardy laugh.
Ms. Penland read about Hunter being in South Florida in a newspaper article her first year at Seagull. Knowing that Seagull, traditionally known for Hospital Homebound and pregnant girls, was starting to enroll boys who wanted a basketball team.
Bobby came to the school in his Harlem Globetrotter uniform and met with all the basketball players, gave them pointers on life and on the court. He walked in every classroom and personalized motivational messages in each one.
It is likely that every student at Seagull had a picture taken with Bobby. He visited the tele-classroom and spoke to the Homebound Students. He even visited the semi-napping toddlers and sat in a rocking chair and began to sing, "Splish Splash". Within minutes he was surrounded by toddlers who sang the songs they had learned to him.
"I asked for one visit to the basketball team. I ended up with many visits, a basketball camp, a basketball tournament with tropies/uniforms, and guess who showed up to assist— Wali Wonder Jones, former Miami Heat Community Liaison and retired 76er who won his championship ring alongside Wilt Chamberlain, Coach Charlie Hatcher, the host and executive producer of remote broadcast sports radio show, "Sports Inside and Out", Suzan Summers, US Olympic Coach Top 14th "winningest" coach in America and one of the top 100 most influential sports educators in America, and retired New York Principal Harvey Young, all provided their stories on turning lives around.
Bobby embraced the Hospital Homebound program and made sure tickets were provided with first class treatment and photo opportunities at the Harlem Globetrotter events. But Bobby's true love are the Seagull babies.
"I dare anyone to intermingle with the children of Seagull to not become attached, if not involved." Stated Hunter.
"I remember one of Bobby's first visits to my classroom, he challenged one of my more difficult students and the two of them decided to make a "30 second how to audio" on GarageBand on "How to Get a Job". Said Penland.
"After the class watch Bobby and Moesha making their audio tape, every other student couldn't wait to do theirs." She continued.
During his second year at Seagull, Bobby started an Each One-Teach One Early Scared Straight Program, where he worked with Sheriff Scott Israel and brought in not only the sheriff, but four young men in orange juvenile clothing handcuffed. They were from the Pompano Substance Abuse Center. The juveniles explained how they got in jail and how a young person could stay out of jail. As one of the visitors said, "Last year, I was sitting next to you in your classroom and now I am sitting next to a criminal in jail."
"Bobby is always mixing it up. He's brought in so many diverse mentors. We've had a Math wizard, Leonard Most, that has visited the math classes for the past two years challenging students with probability and math problems.
Last year, we loaded up the students in a school bus and Principal Bonnie Clemon, Ms. Penland, Bobby and a busload of students interested in the food industry all went to The Grateful Palate for lunch.
The interesting thing was that The Grateful Palate wasn't open for lunch. The restaurant opened its doors bringing in staff and chefs to provide a gourmet luncheon, and a presentation on being a chef and the experience of fine dining to the students. Manager Adam Irvin was happy to accommodate our legend.
This year, Bobby has brought in a husband/wife team that works with students on relationships.
He's been great giving my television production students tips about being on camera and filming. And then there are the stories—do you really know him, Bobby.
"Check it out, here's his number on my phone and look at these emails." Hunter shows the students his list of celebrity friends.
When the students asked Bobby what the highlight of his career was, he replied,
Playing in the Roman Coliseum with Wilt Chamberlin, with an audience of over 50,000. The greatest memory was when I scored my first basket. Also sitting at the Cafe de Paris with Ed Sullivan, and Pete Faulk where Wilt stole my girl. Not to worry, in Paris there was another 21 year old girl coming around the corner every 15 seconds.
So what is he working on now—asking his friends and other retired Globetrotter to buy a yearbook for a student—one that might really want one, but they have a bigger priority –helping put food on the table or raising a child.
Bobby still embraces the Hospital Homebound students, although they have moved to another location in the county. Now, he has added the Adults with Disability Program that was recently housed at Seagull and is working on an athletic event where students at the high school mentor the adults.
What does Seagull love the most—it's having their own personal legend.
Bobby Hunter is currently involved with Champions4Champions, Mixed Gender Basketball Association, Inc., and Director of the Harlem Globetrotter Reunion. As an ambassador for Seagull, Bobby is asking friends and sportsmen to buy a Seagull yearbook for a student—price $25, contact email@example.com.