The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Dallas this Friday and Saturday to play at the American Airlines Center. When they break for halftime on Saturday, forty-five children and youth from Bonham will take to the court to perform. The kids are members of the All-Star PIP team from Bonham. When they take the court, they will dribble, spin and show off other basketball handling skills in a carefully planned routine set to music.
"We are really excited about this opportunity," said PIP Coach Shannon Massie.
PIP stands for Players in Progress. This year marks the second year the basketball program has been in Bonham. Other schools in the Texoma area with PIP programs include Trenton, Ector, Dodd City, Whitewright, Denison and Tom Bean.
Massie said she wanted to bring the PIP program to Bonham in order to help students strengthen their basketball skills. "The PIP Program also encourages positive character traits in the kids," continued Massie. "For example, PIP teaches kids to keep going even if they make a mistake and encourages team work and cooperation too."
When Massie is not coaching PIP, she is the Vice-Principal at IW Evans Intermediate School in Bonham. When students participate in PIP, she often notices an improvement in their self esteem and self-confidence, in addition to the improved basketball handling skills.
In all, about ninety students in grades pre-K through 8th grade participated in the PIP program at Bonham this year. Players were divided into two groups that took turns performing during halftime of the high school girls and boys varsity basketball games. When Bonham coaches accepted the invitation to perform at the Globetrotters game, they faced the difficult task of selecting an All-Star team because there was only room to bring about half of the group.
Tickets to the Globetrotters game are still available on-line at www.harlemglobetrotters.com..
For those who cannot make it to the game on Saturday, the All-Star team will perform their routine again on Feb. 8 between the boys' junior varsity and varsity basketball games at Bonham High School.
For more information about PIP, check out www.pipsyeah.com.