Basketball handler scores big
with motivational message
By KAREN CLARK
Photo by Karen Clark - Hasson Heights Elementary School principal Bill Hall (back right) was honored prior to Friday's assembly at Oil City High School with champion basketball handler Charlie Aeschliman. Hall was recognized by the Take Pride with Caring Habits committee for succeeding with a positive attitude in his battle against leukemia. Aeschliman is pictured in the back with Hall. In the foreground are Seventh Street Elementary School students Samuel Gatesman and Trista Baker. The students are third-grade pupils of John Kluck and were at the high school for the assembly.
A high energy, spirit lifting assembly by champion basketball handler and former U.S. Navy SEAL Charlie Aeschliman was presented Friday to all students in the Oil City school district.
Aeschliman wowed the crowd with his ball antics, gyrating to an upbeat tempo of music as basketballs swirled on his fingertips and twisted through his arms and legs in a seemingly effortless motion.
While capturing the attention of the audience with fun and fanfare, Aeschliman had a more serious message to convey to students-believing in themselves, setting goals and persevering to achieve their dreams.
"When I was your age, I fell in love - in love with the game of basketball. I had a dream to be one of the best basketball handlers in the world," said Aeschliman.
Today, Aeschliman is considered by many experts to be one of the best basketball handlers in the world. He was crowned the Nike National Basketball Handling Champion, has entertained hundreds of thousands of fans during NBA and NCAA halftime shows, including the NCAA Final Four, and has been featured on ESPN.
In addition, he served as one of the top military instructors in the elite Navy SEALS.
Aeschliman's message to students focused on overcoming odds and obstacles. As students were selected to participate in some of the basketball stunts, Aeschliman continued to deliver his point.
"It's about the small steps you take every day. Doing the right thing at the right time even if no one is watching, that's integrity," he said.
Friday's program was one of about 100 Aeschliman performs each year, reaching more than 100,000 students from kindergarten through 12th-grade.
Along with encouraging students to dream and set goals, Aeschliman also said that persevering through difficult times will lead students to their achievements.
"Nothing takes the place of perseverance - not strength, not talent and not intelligence. There is only ever one true failure and that's giving up on yourself. Don't fear failure, it's a normal part of the experience," he said.
In an interview following the presentation, Aeschliman said he was grateful for the opportunities in his life that have allowed him to reach so many children each year.
"I just wanted to take my experience of achieving my goals and share that with other people. I want to talk to as many kids as I can," said the 48-year old Steubenville, Ohio, resident.
Although his days of four to five hours of practicing with a basketball may be far behind, Aeschliman says he still must brush up to maintain the fine-tuning and timing of the exercises.
The Take Pride with Caring Habits school/community project and the national Character Education Foundation of Zelienople funded the event.
This was the first assembly for the caring habits program, which provides a monthly theme for improving relationships at school, at home, at work and in the community.
October is "be patient and listen" month, and the caring color is "slow-down" lavender. The stated goal is: Find the patience to make more cherished memories out of your moments.
The Web site for the group is www.caringhabits.org.
Any school districts interested in the basketball program or any of the anti-bullying, staff development or self-esteem programs offered can contact David Rettig at the National Character Education Foundation or at www.ncef.net.
Monies are available through grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, to provide the program at no cost to the district, said Rettig.
taken from: http://www.thederrick.com/stories/10142006-6006.shtml
Doc Rio, He's a Bailey-trained man and, I believe, a member of a "No-Bell" Class (meaning that nobody quit during Hell Week). email about Charlie from: Larry Bailey CAPT (SEAL) USN Ret.