On Tuesday night, University of Richmond football player Donte Boston and former teammate Kevin Grayson, RC '10, spoke to 22 players and the coaching staff from the George Wythe High School basketball program at a team dinner about the importance of academics.
Boston, who was suspended indefinitely Wednesday for violating team rules, said he knew of the possible suspension before speaking with the basketball players, but decided to do it anyway. He did not comment on the reason for the suspension. Boston was suspended last season as well — he missed the Spiders' opening game Sept. 4 at the University of Virginia.
The dinner was at Paradise Diner in Richmond, and was organized by Richmond School of Continuing Studies student Rodney White as an end-of-the-year treat for the basketball players.
White, who is a motivational speaker, spoke to the George Wythe varsity basketball team on several occasions during its season. He has also worked with the school to institute study halls and tutoring programs for athletes, as well as minimum GPA requirements. White met Boston in an intrapersonal communication class and asked him if he would speak to the basketball players. Boston agreed, and was able to convince Grayson to attend as well.
Boston told the basketball players that he wished there had been study halls instituted at his high school. He told them how study halls for the Richmond football program had helped him and his teammates do better in their classes.
"If my friends would have had study halls in high school, they might not have gotten such bad grades," Boston said. "Maybe they would have played sports in college. That's why I wanted to talk to these kids."
Grayson, who played football, basketball and track at L.C. Byrd High School in Chesterfield, said he enjoyed every opportunity that allowed him to speak to young athletes.
"Any time I can tell kids that it's OK to do the right thing and get good grades — that they can do things outside their peer group — I'm happy to do it," Grayson said.
Contact staff writer Zak Kozuchowski at firstname.lastname@example.org
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