Published October 10, 2015 15:23
A group of young Winnipeg basketball fans got a surprise pep talk Saturday morning from a three-time NBA champion.
Bill Wennington, who played for four NBA franchises between 1985 and 2000, stopped in at Freight House Recreation Centre to chat with kids from the Boys and Girls Club of Winnipeg.
The seven-foot-tall centre said he wanted to inspire the kids to keep following their love of the game.
He chatted about his own experience growing up in Montreal, how he didn't enjoy school and wasn't sure what he wanted to do with his life.
But his interest in sports grew and ultimately motivated him to work hard and stay focused on and off the court, Wennington said.
"I started playing hockey, switched over to basketball and I wasn't very good and I struggled in school," Wennington said. "I found [through] my coaches that if I applied myself I could be so much better."
Eleven-year-old Hiab Sofani, who plays basketball four hours a day, said he was grateful to speak with Wennington.
"He told us about how he failed Grade 9 math," said Sofani. "He told us how we shouldn't waste our life on only sports ... and we should use our time on both."
Wennington is in town with his former championship-winning team in the Chicago Bulls, who take on the Minnesota Timberwolves in an exhibition game Saturday night in Winnipeg. The visit was arranged by members of Bank of Montreal, official bank of the NBA.