Broncos Help Celebrate LHMS Students
May 1, 2017

BOISE, Idaho - Eight current Boise State men's basketball student-athletes joined former Bronco Jason Ellis at Lake Hazel Middle School Friday, to celebrate some of the school's most dedicated students. The day was a culmination of months of hard work as Lake Hazel students prepared for and took the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT).

Derrick Alston, Paris Austin, Marcus Dickinson, Zach Haney, Malek Harwell, Alex Hobbs, Robin Jorch, Justinian Jessup, and Ellis played games with close to 150 students across the school's three lunch periods. The group was made up of students who followed the motto "Dedicated to Success," throughout preparation for the standardized assessment which took place in April.

LHMS teacher Michael Cummings helped develop the test-prep program that eventually led to students having a chance to hit the court with the Broncos. Cummings and other teachers rewarded students who exhibited focus, effort, attentiveness, achievement and good behavior.

"Our teachers and staff wanted to encourage our students to simply do the best they can," said Cummings. "It was important to get them to believe in putting forth their strongest effort and to understand that that means doing things like paying attention, taking their time; and trying hard."

Students had the opportunity to earn tickets each time they displayed such traits during the months leading up to testing. In addition to rewarding those who were dedicated to success, teachers could also randomly ask practice questions or definitions and present tickets for correct answers. Each ticket granted them a chance to be selected to play basketball with the Broncos.

"We want our students to know if they work hard at what they are doing, and they do it the right way, they will be rewarded," said Cummings. "Being able to have our kids spend time with college basketball players, who worked really hard to get where they are, is an unbelievable opportunity to deliver that message."

The Broncos set up stations for various drills and games to play with students from sixth, seventh and eighth grades, as well as a special needs class.

"I can't thank Boise State enough," said Cummings. "Our students were in awe and the whole vibe was so inclusive and accepting. Nobody was intimidated and it was a very meaningful experience. And I know the basketball team enjoyed it, too. They are young adults with a lot of time demands, but for an afternoon they got to be kids again."

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