The National Association of Basketball Coaches, which has 5000 members, has created a student success program called Stay in to Win to help middle school and high school students focus on making good academic, career, and personal choices. The purpose of the program is to help all students focus on making important decisions that will help them become more successful in school and impact the overall quality of their life.

Recently, members of the Marist Men’s Basketball team visited Poughkeepsie Middle School on to speak on behalf of the program. The players joined together with the middle school teachers and administrators to motivate and encourage students, particularly those at risk of dropping out, to stay in school to graduation. The players communicated the value of effective decision-making skills and the impact that academic, career, and personal decisions made now will have on their futures. The middle school students were encouraged to develop success teams to help them overcome obstacles and success plans to guide them as they make the educational and career decisions that will direct their lives.

Tourron Whitfield at Poughkeepsie Middle School

This was an eye-opening experience for everyone involved, as such, the team and Poughkeepsie Middle School are working on making this an annual event. The wheels were also set in motion about having the players and students come back and spend time with smaller groups of middle school students working on the Stay in to Win workbooks and sharing experiences.

On Monday, March 25, the Men's Basketball team went back to Poughkeepsie Middle School. Tourron Whitfield, Phillip Lawrence, and T.J. Curry met with seven eighth grade students. The student-athletes spent an hour with the eighth graders discussing academics and athletics, as well as completing exercises and activities in the Stay in to Win guidebooks that the students received during the earlier assembly.

T.J. Curry meeting with Poughkeepsie Middle School students