Florida Tech Panthers Basketball Team Reaches Out To Area Schools To Help Slam Dunk Smoking

By  //  October 28, 2016

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Coach Mims, Players love fit community & family

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On Thursday, members of the Florida Tech Panthers basketball team and head coach Billy Mims (bottom row center) visited St. Mark’s Episcopal Academy in Cocoa Village and spoke to the entire school, PreK3 through 6th grade about the hazards of smoking in the “Slam Dunk Smoking” campaign

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – As part of this month’s Red Ribbon activities in local schools, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Billy Mims and several of his Florida Tech players are delivering a project for elementary and middle school aged children called “Slam Dunk Smoking.”

On Thursday, October 27, the Panthers took the program to St. Mark’s Episcopal Academy in Cocoa Village and spoke to the entire school, PreK3 through 6th grade.

“Slam Dunk Smoking” is a program designed to help kids better understand the harmful and unhealthy aspects of cigarettes and to continually aid in the goal of making all Brevard County schools smoke free environments.
It is done as a fun and informative means of educating kids using basketball as the key to grabbing their attention.
The central theme is “Basketball and smoking don’t mix!”

Several years ago, Mims helped pilot this project to schools in England while working there as a professional coach. Local and national health authorities in Britain deemed “Slam Dunk Smoking” a huge success in their schools.
Mims decided to bring the program with him to central Florida as a community project for his Panther basketball team.

FIT head basketballl coach Billy Mims gives coaching tips to the kids at ST. Mark's Episcopal Academy

FIT head basketball coach Billy Mims gives ball handling lessons to the kids at St. Mark’s Episcopal Academy in Cocoa on Thursday. 

He said, “The slam dunk has long been one of the most exciting skills in the game of basketball. Many young kids hope to one day be able to slam dunk a basketball through a ten-foot high hoop.”

‘”In this project, college basketball players try to encourage all young kids to slam dunk cigarettes in garbage cans rather than ever choosing to pick up the smoking habit. Slam Dunk Smoking gives our players a great opportunity to give something back to the kids in our community and emphasize the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle.”

Coach Mims and the Florida Tech players spoke to the children about their own experiences with smoking, discussed the harmful impacts smoking can have on the performance of intercollegiate athletes, and identified in common everyday terms the harmful chemicals found in cigarettes.

Players demonstrated slam dunks and other basketball skills.

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Panther players handed out prizes to the students who correctly answered questions about what to do if approached about smoking

In a question and answer wrap-up, students who got the answers right were chosen to come up front and got a quick basketball lesson from the players.

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Prizes were given out and players were available to sign autographs. Every student that attended will receive one FREE child’s admission Junior Panther Pass to any Florida Tech home basketball contest this season.

To find out more about “Slam Dunk Smoking” or to get the team to bring the project to your school, email Coach Billy Mims at bmims@fit.edu.

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