Tempe, AZ – Bobby Hurley is use to mentoring the Arizona State Sun Devils men’s basketball team with X’s and O’s on a chalkboard. Over the week, he turned it down a notch and visited students from Aguilar Elementary, encouraging them to read.
The NCAA’s “Read to the Final Four” program is comprised of a tournament-style competition among elementary students. 68 schools — similar to the NCAA bracket format — will participate, with the final school being honored during the Final Four which will take place in Glendale.
Hurley, donning his Sun Devils hoodie and basketball shorts, was front and center to urge the students to hit the books.
“It’s nice to get out and spend time with these students,” Hurley told Today’s U. “I thought they were very responsive, attentive — it was great to read the book.”
“It hits home with me, a lot of things I went through growing up and to be able to spread the message. The importance of reading and education, for these students — and to have Sparky here also to support me — it really gets their attention.”
Hurley harped on the journey of Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and how he defied the odds as a small-school college basketball player, only to develop into one of the nation’s most gifted athletes. Following his story to the students, Hurley then continued with a token of his life and how it can relate to the kids littered around the school’s basketball floor.
“Prove people wrong. If someone tells you you can’t do something, make it happen. Work harder than those people, and you’ll have all the success in your life that you’re looking for.”