On Sept. 15th, four-time NBA Champion Horace Grant came to Shanghai Shangnan E. Middle School and spent a joyous afternoon with 200 students.
After the meet and greet, Grant presented the school with a autographed basketball. Principal Xu also returned the gesture by presenting a school flag and souvenirs to Grant.
Jr. NBA Training Class
After the warm-up, Grant brought a Jr. NBA training class to the students of Shangnan E. Middle School.
In his career, Horace Grant helped Jordan, Pippen, Kobe, and O'Neal en route to 4 NBA rings.
As a fierce rebounder and a defensive juggernaut during the first three-peat of the Bulls' dynasty, Grant brought more than his rings to the event. He also brought his rebounding and defense training scheme to train the players of the school.
Players were extremely excited to be so close personally with an NBA star; as a result, they all trained hard under Grant's guidance. Grant also continuously encouraged the players by giving them high-five. He even showed some sense of humor to the players when giving encouragements.
After the training, Grant presented autographs for every team members and teachers.
Students that spectated the event all wanted to interact with Grant. During the subsequent Jr. NBA Skills Challenge and Knockout challenge, everyone wanted to be a part of it.
Horace Grant learns how to play Ping-Pong.
As a courtesy, Shangnan Middle School presented Chinese martial arts and Ping-Pong demonstration to Grant, who has an admiration for Chinese culture.
During the Ping-Pong demonstration, two impromptu coaches taught Grant how to hold the paddle and how to serve. After the simple training, Grant hit 100% of his serves, wowing the crowd in the process.
We caught up with some students after the event. Minghao Qian expressed that he was very surprised with Grant's athletic talent, especially during the Ping-Pong demonstration. He was very impressed that Grant was able to play so well in his first try.
Jr. high student Zhiheng Zhao is the captain Shangnan's basketball team. During the defensive training of the Jr. NBA Training Class, Grant personally played one-on-one defense against Zhao, as a demonstration of the correct defensive stands. Zhiheng Zhao was extremely excited and nervous.
Horace Grant Playing Defense Against Captain Zhiheng Zhao
Zhiheng Zhao really cherished this invaluable experience, he said "Jr. NBA brought NBA stars to schools, I hope there are more opportunities like this in the future and that more students will get to experience the charisma of basketball."