Webster Elementary School had a pre-ISTEP visit from motivational speaker Jim “Basketball” Jones on April 10. Jones talked about how he has a learning disability, but it didn’t let that stop him in life. In first grade, he said he was diagnosed with dyslexia. His struggles were so great that he immediately found himself placed in a special education program. It would take him five years working with his tutors and speech therapists before he would make it into a regular classroom.
On his jimbasketballjones.com website it says in the sixth grade, he decided to learn to spin a basketball to try to fit in at that awkward middle school age. For him, it was time he could be creative and let his imagination go as he would dream of someday performing his new tricks in front of audiences. At that time he had no idea that he would become so good that he would be asked to perform at NBA games, nor that his escape would eventually become his career. Jim used his talents to give back to the community that had spent so much time helping him.
It was not long before people would see him all over town spinning basketballs at Boy Scout meetings, nursing homes, churches, festivals, and parades. As his skill grew his disability shrank compared to his confidence and feeling of accomplishment in helping others.
He now travels all over the Midwest telling his story that his learning disability didn’t get in the way of him graduating from college.
Jones told the students he had to work harder than anyone else that he knew, but he said he had a positive mindset and he never gave up. He also talked about using kindness to take care of each other. Mr. Basketball used basketball tricks to show students that they can do whatever they put their minds to and that they should always try.
Webster Elementary School Principal Carrie McGuire said she and her staff would like to thank the Webster PTO for providing the funds needed to bring Jim Basketball Jones to Webster.
The second part of the Indiana Statewide Testing of Educational Progress, better known as the acronym ISTEP, started at Webster on Monday and will last through Friday, May 4th.