A former Harlem Globetrotter met with youth June 23 at Southside Middle School in Florence to speak with students about having talents both inside and outside the classroom. Archie Talley met with students at the school in conjunction with the Florence Police Department Educational Basketball Camp and Personal Pathways to Success Pee Dee Regional Education Center.
Talley showed off his basketball skills before telling students about his story of success, including receiving undergraduate and master’s degree from Salem College in West Virginia.
Cheryl Lewis, a coordinator with Personal Pathways, helped coordinate the event with help from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education’s College Access Challenge Grant. “They were really in tune to his voice and his message,” Lewis said. “He did the basketball tricks … and once he got their attention, he got really serious with them.”
Parts of Talley’s message included letting students know that the words “I can’t” shouldn’t be a part of their vocabulary.
“We’re always looking for people who are willing to go out to talk to kids. … I selected him because I know that many of our black males aren’t going to college. They don’t have those black role models too often to look up to,” Lewis said.
Florence Police Cpl. Jerri James worked alongside Lt. George Mack and Officer Gloria Howard for this year’s free basketball camp.
“Not only is it a basketball camp, it’s educational,” James said. “We wanted him to talk about his career and the educational part about what it takes to get to the next level.”
James said Talley stressed the importance of having the right mindset, respecting others and working toward goals.
“We wanted them to see that everybody has an equal chance. It’s up to you about how much time and motivation you want to put into that,” James said.
Talley plans to visit the Pee Dee again Wednesday at Mt. Zion Chapel Baptist Church and Darlington High School and Thursday at Chesterfield-Ruby Middle School and Marlboro County High School.