Dec. 7, 2011
The questions were thought-provoking and the answers insightful as members of the Rice men's and women's basketball teams spent part of their Wednesday morning at KIPP Liberation College Prep, a charter school for fifth through eighth graders in Houston's Third Ward.
Spending time with students at KIPP Liberation were Reem Moussa, freshman point guard on the Rice women's team along with men's team freshmen Julian DeBose and Jarelle Reischel along with sophomore J.R. Reynolds.
The Owls answered questions such as where they are originally from and how they got to Rice. They gave advice on taking advantage of educational resources and shared what an education has meant to them.
"When we got there I was surprised that almost every kid had a question and every kid had something to say," said DeBose. "I enjoyed myself and thought it was a good idea for us to go and talk to young kids about how to get through college not only academically but also athletically."
The Rice players provided a look into their daily routine and the time demands of being a student-athlete.
Reischel said the most important message he and his fellow student-athletes provided was how education and hard work play an important and special role in life.
"It was nice to see the smiles on the kids' faces when I told them of my experience in college and how they look up to me," Reischel added. "It was definitely fun and definitely heart-warming. I'd love to do it again."
Reynolds also acknowledged what the experience of visiting with the charter school's students meant for him.
"For me, it gave me a greater appreciation of where I am today and how far I have made it to be a college student playing basketball," Reynolds said. "It truly is a blessing. I think we were able to provide that example for them they can reach for higher goals and eventually make it to college themselves. It felt great to me, and I'm sure my teammates as well, to provide that foundation for them."
The mission of KIPP Liberation College Prep is to empower students academically, intellectually, and socially, thus enabling them to succeed in top-rated high schools and colleges and contribute to the social and economic improvement of their own community and the world beyond.