Ranger players, coach visit Woodward Middle School

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Ranger players, coach visit Woodward Middle School

(Story courtesy of the Woodward News, written by Dave Matthews)

Woodward, Okla. — Student-athletes at Woodward Middle School had some special visitors Wednesday morning.

Northwestern Oklahoma State University basketball players and coaches, in town for the Ranger Roundball Classic, dropped by the school.

NWOSU Coach Andrew Brown said he and the players spoke to the students about a number of different topics.

“We talked to them (about) how they should act on the floor (basketball court) and off the floor,” Brown said.

Brown told the students they will face some adversity in their lives as they get older and enter high school.

Marshall Bell, a junior shooting guard for the Rangers, said one of the biggest issues the students face will be who their friends are.

“They (students) need to surround themselves with good friends and stay in good environments,” Bell said.

Bell said hanging around the wrong crowd could cost them their athletic careers.

“As an athlete, if you put yourself around a wrong crowd or group, you have the chance to lose your scholarship,” Bell said.

However, Bell said being around the wrong group people can cost a student-athlete more than a scholarship.

“My friend lost his life in high school after he was stabbed 13 time,” Bell said.

Bell said his friend, who was known for selling drugs in high school, was at a party where he was stabbed and his body was later taken back to where he lived for someone to find him.

Bell believes the story was a real eye-opener for the students.

“I think I got their attention when I said he was stabbed 13 times,” Bell said. “The kids need to know danger is everywhere.”

Bell said he enjoyed speaking to the students.

“I always enjoyed listening to an athlete speak, that I looked up to,” Bell said.

Bell hopes other athletes will talk to his children one day.

“I have a 1-year-old son and I would like for his favorite athlete to talk to him,” Bell said.