POSTED: Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 3:00am
UPDATED: Sunday, March 4, 2012 - 3:04am
New Orleans, La — In a variation of the expression “giving someone the shirt right off of your back,” Carl Landry gave schoolchildren the shoes right off of his feet on Tuesday, Feb. 7. While helping the New Orleans Hornets and Shell debut the brand-new Bookmobile at Vic A. Pitre Elementary School in Westwego, Landry asked kids several basketball-related trivia questions. Two of the children who answered correctly received Landry’s sneakers. Not just any sneakers, though – the ones the 6-foot-9 power forward wore to the event on the Westbank.
Each of the kids from Vic A. Pitre Elementary were given the chance to pick up a free book from the Bookmobile, after listening to Landry speak about why reading is essential to being successful in life. Landry explained that as a youngster he was not necessarily an avid reader, but learned to find interesting subjects that made him want to read more.
“When I was your guys’ age, in third and fourth grade, I didn’t like reading at all,” Landry remembered. “But as I grew up, not loving to read slowed me down from learning about other things and about life in general. Reading is very important, because without it, you can’t get to the next grade. One thing that helped me was reading something I was interested in. Sports and basketball were something that I really liked. So I started picking up a newspaper every day and started reading a magazine like SLAM, which is a basketball magazine. That always caught my attention.”
The Milwaukee native went on to become a junior college basketball star after he was barely recruited out of high school. He later transferred to Purdue University and was a second-round NBA draft pick in 2007. Recently, Landry was elected to the National Junior College Basketball Hall of Fame.
Landry was joined at the Feb. 7 event by special appearances from team mascot Hugo the Hornet and members of the Honeybees dance team. Children also received two free tickets to an upcoming Hornets home game in the New Orleans Arena.