Former Globetrotter Visits Piggott Schools

Thursday, March 23, 2017
Valentino "Captain Magic" Willis is greeted by the students of PES at the start of Friday's assembly.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Former Harlem Globetrotter Valentino Willis, also known as "Captain Magic" during his playing days, visited the Piggott School District last week. Willis spoke to students at both Piggott Elementary and Piggott High School on Friday, encouraging the young people to avoid drugs and alcohol, obey their teachers and parents and to take a stand against bullying.

Throughout the presentation at PES, Willis delighted the students with tricks, as he involved members of the audience. At each turn he reinforced the message of the day in both an enjoyable and entertaining manner while showing-off his basketball skills.

Willis has enjoyed a long career in basketball, and has played for teams around the world. He was first drafted by the New Jersey Nets of the NBA, and spent several years in the Eastern Professional Basketball League, averaging some 25 points per game.

Later in life he found a career in comedy basketball, and has been entertaining fans of all ages in the decades since. He makes appearances at schools and clubs, conducts basketball clinics at summer camps and YMCAs, participates in Special Olympics and is active in the March of Dimes Walk America effort.

Willis has also had the opportunity to appear in commercials and movies, as he had a part in "The Wiz" with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross and also in "For Heaven's Sake" with the late Ray Bolger.

Despite the lighthearted style of his delivery, Willis' lessons are dead serious as he talks to young people about the dangers which come to their lives, such as drugs, alcohol and bullying. Throughout the presentation he also continues to impress upon the children the importance of obeying their parents, teachers, counselors, principals and coaches.

Following his presentation at PES on Friday morning, Willis made the short trip to Piggott High School for an assembly with the students of PHS.

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