Got to be the shoes

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

It’s not really about the shoes.

Ben Wallace donates sneakers to the boys’ basketball team for his high school alma mater, Central-Hayneville, every year.

Email newsletter signup

But in a ceremony Friday to recognize the players, it was apparent the gesture went beyond providing up-and-coming athletes footwear.

It was a reminder someone is still thinking about their small corner of the world.

“For Ben Wallace to make it so far makes me think I can do the same thing,” senior Jermichael Rudolph said. “I’m glad to know he still cares. It helps several parents with money, for one. Us being down here in the rural part of Alabama, it’s hard to get support and sponsors. It shows he cares a lot about this community and the school system.”

Wallace, a native of White Hall, has gone from the back roads of Lowndes County to one of the premier players in the NBA. Over his 11-year career, he has won a world championship, been named Defensive Player of the Year three times and been named to four All-Star teams.

Wallace wasn’t on hand Friday, but his friend, Cedric Glover, presented the shoes on his behalf.

“He wanted to give something back to the kids,” Glover said.

Also on hand was William Scott, the mayor of Mosses, where Central High is located.

Principal Kenneth Fair applauded the example the basketball star sets.

“I hope they (the students) learn from Ben Wallace’s generosity,” Fair said.