June 1, 2012
WASHINGTON - With student-athletes gone for a few weeks, the newly installed Georgetown University women's basketball staff took time to give back to a school that has significance to Head Coach Keith Brown. Last Friday, the staff visited Parkside Middle School in Northeast D.C., to talk to the students about achieving their goals.
"I couldn't pass up the opportunity to visit Cesar Chavez, it felt like going home," said Brown. "Being a special needs teacher, I had the chance to see students I had worked with and see how they progressed. It's gratifying to meet student I worked with who are now seniors scheduled to graduate."
Brown began the lecture going over his background and his connection to the Cesar Chavez Public Charter Schools. With a career based in education, Brown spent two years at the Cesar Chavez Charter Middle Schools and High Schools as a special education teacher and basketball coach.
He explained how he got his start in coaching and also started working with AAU teams. From there, Brown progressed to an assistant with the Hoyas, but never abandoned his education background teaching his players lessons both on and off of the court.
This journey resulted in Brown being named the seventh head women's basketball coach in Georgetown history a few weeks ago.
Telling his personal story was a lesson to the students in perseverance and hard work. He stressed setting life goals and having a plan to know where one wants to advance to in life.
After his lecture, Brown worked individually with many of the students on a 10-year goal sheet. He reminded the students to keep those goals fresh and to understand that your actions today will effect what you do tomorrow.
Other members of the staff also contributed to the lecture.
Assistant Coach Tim Valentine spoke about his journey from physical education teacher to college coach. He stressed similar points that hard work and goals are necessary to achieve your dreams.
Georgetown alum and Assistant Coach Kenya Kirkland took the point of view as a student-athlete. With so many students having dreams that involve athletics, she explained how much time and effort is necessary to continue to play at the next level.
Additionally, she stressed that the journey didn't stop when she received a scholarship to Georgetown. Instead it opened a new chapter that included challenging coursework as well as transitioning to the college game.
Kirkland went from student-athlete to graduate assistant and is now a full-time assistant coach, but it was not without dedication and focus.
Finally, Director of Basketball Operations Tasha Harris spoke on her experiences becoming a teacher and now working with the Georgetown student-athletes. Harris challenged the students to envision where they want to be in the next few years and then to focus on how to achieve that goal.
The morning was an opportunity from Brown and his staff to get out into the D.C., community and one that he hopes to continue once the Hoyas return to campus.
"This year we hope to be even more committed to community service for our student-athletes and coaches," said Brown. "It's a great opportunity to be out in the community."