High School Basketball Players Learn Lessons Beyond the Court at the State Fair

High School Basketball Players Learn Lessons Beyond the Court at the State Fair


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The head men’s Basketball coach at James Madison High School wanted his student-athletes to learn logistics, management, and entrepreneurship. He figured what better place to do that than at the State Fair of Texas.

Eleventh grader Keanon Lawson said it was good practice for the business he wants to run someday.

“As I get older, I don’t want to have to ask anybody for anything,” he said. “I want to have everything on my own and I want to help others too.”

The time spent at the State Fair behind the counter at Southside Steaks and Cakes was intentional. Lawson said he wanted to joined others on his basketball team to give back to his community and learn.

It resulted from a partnership between the South Dallas business and its surrounding community. Damien Mobley is the head basketball coach at Madison and said the owners of Southside Steaks and Cakes agreed to give his players the experience.

“A lot of these guys want to get out into the workforce immediately and own their own business and entrepreneurship and we came up with the idea of maybe just bringing some guys over,” said Mobley.

He said it’s about exposure to lessons beyond the court.

“I also wanted them to get out and get some human-to-human contact and some social skills and being able to build relationships and network outside of their community.”

Like basketball, Lawson said he sees what he’s learned on the court translate into business.

“Have you workers back. Have their back. Pick them up. If your teammates fall, pick them up, help them up like that the same thing.” Said Lawson.

“They participate in athletic events over the weekend and still coming here working and bringing the energy and just being proud and happy to do what they do,” said Mobley. “I just sent them a text and told them I’m proud of them.”

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