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Former NBA player Wayne Simien will be in Springfield next week to speak with kids and parents at a free event hosted by Community Partnership of the Ozarks. KSMU’s Samuel Crowe has this report.
The former All-American power forward at the University of Kansas and NBA reserve will speak at three Springfield colleges and universities before heading to Parkview High School to deliver the keynote address. Simien is traveling the country, educating kids and their parents on potential dangers surrounding the teenage lifestyle.
According to Community Partnership, alcohol kills six times more teenagers than all illegal drugs combined, and the fastest growing drug problem amongst teens in Greene County is the abuse of prescription drugs.
Chris Davis works to prevent drug and alcohol abuse at Community Partnership. He says Simien has experience with making poor choices as a young person, making him an ideal candidate to speak with the students.
“The purpose of this event is to help the parents and the youth and give them some tips and ideas on how to make some positive choices, and what the benefits of those positive choices can be in their lives, on the success of their lives, as well as what some of the pitfalls related to some negative choices or not positive choices like substance abuse or bullying and things like that,” Davis said.
Other speakers at the event include Greene County Prosecutor Dan Patterson, Springfield Public Schools Associate Superintendent Dr. Justin Harrell, and a local teenager. The event will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday, September 20thwith light refreshments and booths from local youth-service providers, as well as raffle prizes. The speakers begin at 7 p.m.
For KSMU News, I’m Samuel Crowe.