June 8, 2012
WASHINGTON - When Georgetown University Head Men's Basketball Coach John Thompson III asked a group of nearly 200 youngsters at the D.C. Department of Recreation (DPR) King Greenleaf Center if they were there to have some fun, he received a resounding "Yes!"
Thompson was one of several speakers at the King Greenleaf Center as part of "Live Positively: Get the Ball Rolling," an Olympic-themed event hosted by Coca-Cola.
The event was aimed at educating young people about the important of living a healthy lifestyle through proper exercise and nutrition. With the Olympics approaching this summer, Coca-Cola partnered with the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and the National Foundation on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (NFFSN) to get area youth excited about living active, healthy lifestyles.
In addition to Thompson, the event featured American gymnast Shawn Johnson, a 2008 Olympic gold and silver medalist, as well as Jair Lynch, an American gymnast who won a silver medal at the 1996 Olympics.
The event also featured Elizabeth Maloy (C'07, M'09), who led the track & field station. Maloy is a United States Olympic hopeful for the Olympics this summer in London.
The event stated with a short speaking program emceed by Coca-Cola's Curtis Etherly and featured Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA-01), Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL-07) and Jesus Aguirre from the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation.
Following the speaking portion of the event, Thompson led drills featuring basketball skills on the court of the Greenleaf Recreation Center for nearly 90 minutes. A passing storm forced everyone inside for the final hour.
"Get the Ball Rolling" began in 2010 with the support of D.C.-area sports teams. Since then, the program has expanded to New York, partnering with Madison Square Garden and the New York Rangers, and to Boston with the Boston Red Sox.