On August 16, BancFirst hosted an event in Oklahoma City where 120 high school basketball players and 113 coaches from 46 BancFirst communities across Oklahoma had the opportunity to meet one of the biggest stars in the NBA. Russell Westbrook, point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, sat in the Devon Auditorium and fielded questions from Oklahoma student athletes and coaches with Bob Barry, Jr., Sports Director for KFOR, moderating the two sessions. Four students and coaches attended from Guthrie. Those attending from Guthrie High School were Sojo Love, L’liot Curry, Jack Hankins, and Tim Flanigan.
Russell discussed his workout routines, gave advice to the students wanting to play at higher levels, gave advice to coaches about how to get the best out of their players, disclosed what his first purchase was after he signed his contract (a house for his mom), and talked at length about his fashion decisions and everything in between. A recurring theme in his answers was the importance of education, focus and family. He told the crowd about graduating high school with a 3.9 GPA, how his father taught him the importance of focusing on achieving his goals. He also talked about his parents teaching him that faith and family were always top priority, followed by academics then basketball. He credits his ability to successfully balance all of the areas of his life to that lesson.
After the question and answer session ended, the participants had the opportunity to meet and have a photo taken with Russell. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these kids and coaches to get advice from a current top NBA player,” remarked BancFirst Guthrie president LaVerne Dowding. “There were students from rival schools sitting side by side; players from all over the state were sharing this experience together. That sense of community is exactly what BancFirst stands for.”