VIDEO: Hibbert visits a third-grade class, encourages kids to Dream BIG
“Big Roy loves the kids.”
That’s a phrase Roy Hibbert told Pacers employees when he first arrived in Indy as a 22-year-old rookie. But it still holds true today.
In conjunction with the NBA’s ‘Dream BIG’ campaign, the Pacers’ big man made a surprise visit to a third-grade class at The Paramount School of Excellence in Indianapolis on Jan. 13. While there all afternoon, he immersed himself with their activities — art class, story time, dodge ball, and yes, a little basketball action.
When he arrived, the kids’ expressions were priceless, according to a witness. They instantly fell in love with him and thought he was their best friend. And come lunch time, they were thrilled when he shared some of his lunch.
“It was fun. It was a long day,” Hibbert said, with an emphasis on long. “I had practice, and then right after that I got a workout in. Then, I met the kids at the school.
“I told those kids I’d pay for their tickets to come to a game anytime because we literally filmed for like six hours. We did a lot of scenes about 20 times and the kids didn’t complain. They went through a full day of school and they had to stay after. If I was that age, I would’ve been fidgeting and getting in trouble. Those kids were awesome.”
Three players across the league were used in this ‘Dream BIG’ campaign, which celebrates Martin Luther King Day and Black History Month and honors those who have dared to Dream Big. Miami’s Chris Bosh was featured in a serious commercial, whereas Hibbert’s was fun. Ray Allen designed the ‘Dream BIG’ shooting shirts that all 30 teams will be wearing in select February games.
Hibbert believes he was chosen because of his sense of humor and the oddity of sending a 7-foot-2 center back to school.
“I’m very happy with how it turned out,” he said.
Hibbert, who followed the school’s uniform — a baby blue collared shirt with khaki pants — selected a third-grade class for a specific reason.
“The first time I dreamed I could be an NBA player was in the third grade,” Hibbert said in the featured spot. “Every year, I like to go back to that time and relive what it felt like to dream big.”
During art class, Hibbert had each of the kids draw a picture and finish the following sentence: “My dream is to…”
How did the Big Dawg finish it?
“…win an NBA Championship,” he wrote.
Watch the extended video, which will be shown across all NBA platforms and appear on television, in the media player below: