On Sept. 9, the students at Mott Hall Charter School had the special opportunity to give Jalen Brunson a spirited Bronx welcome as they cheered the newest point guard of the New York Knicks in their auditorium.
Brunson, formerly of the Dallas Mavericks, is starting his first of a four year, multi-million-dollar deal with the Knicks as the Mott Hall students launch their new school year. Brunson shared his experiences as a student athlete and spoke about the discipline and sacrifices needed to reach his goal of playing professional basketball.
Originally from New Jersey, Brunson spoke of the time his parents made him choose between basketball and socializing. He picked basketball, worked hard in school and developed his social life among teammates, learning to communicate to bring out the best in his team as a leader.
Brunson’s father, Rick, was a former professional basketball player and coach for the Knicks. Brunson informed the students that watching his dad work out getting ready season after season prepared him mentally for the challenges of the MBA.
Brunson also shared the importance of finishing college and advised the students to “never let anyone tell you that you cannot accomplish something.” He shared that in high school, he had been told he was too slow and small, and yet by his junior year of college he won National Player of the Year, two national titles with Villanova, and by 2022, had scored three 30-plus point games in the playoffs.
“If it’s something you want to achieve, you can always find a way,” were Brunson’s words of wisdom to the students. At the end of the event, several Mott Hall students treated Brunson to a dance contest showing off their fancy footwork, which earned the winner an autographed basketball.
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