Special guest and host Tom Leander, broadcaster for the Phoenix Suns, kicked off a pep assembly on February 18 inside the Salt River High School gymnasium, where nearly 200 students were in attendance to celebrate the NBA FIT Program.
Students gathered shortly after lunch, crowding onto the bleachers in the gym. The focus of the assembly was to motivate students to become healthy through eating right and exercising more often.
All around the country, the NBA FIT Program promotes healthy lifestyles in young people so they can live long, healthy, happy lives. Leander started off the Q&A session on health facts, and students played games throughout the assembly to win T-shirts and other Phoenix Suns memorabilia. Volunteers from the student body were asked to come down to answer questions on health and exercise or to compete in the games.
The Suns’ Solar Squad dance team got the teens hyped up by dancing to several song routines. The Gorilla also got involved in the action.
The featured guest, Phoenix Suns guard Reggie Bullock, was asked to talk about the demands of playing in the NBA and making the transition from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Suns. “Playing against players at a college level, then [moving] from college to the NBA, was a real shock to me, and I have to constantly stay in shape,” said Bullock to the teens.
Bullock discussed his everyday routine during the season, which includes practices, stretching and drills. When he was younger, he said, he always remained active and was outside all the time playing basketball.
Bullock shared how he eats healthy lean meats and lots of fish and greens, and he does his best to stay away from unhealthy foods that could detour his performance on the court.
“I didn’t start eating healthy or exercising until halfway into my college years, because I was already lean and I thought it wasn’t that important. But now I see the difference in becoming healthy, which is why I chose to promote it to the kids,” said Bullock. “I think this is a great event to [help] kids a lot younger than me to stay on top of their eating habits.”