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New Jazz players pay a surprise visit to Bountiful Junior High

(Stanton Kidd laughing with students. Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

BOUNTIFUL – There was definitely a “cool kids table” at Bountiful Junior High School.  Two of the newest members of the Utah Jazz roster sat and had lunch with hundreds of excited students.

For the past week, faculty at the school have been trying to get kids to make better social connections with other students.  They’ve created a “Hello Table” where children can meet and speak with other students they wouldn’t have approached, otherwise.

Today, though, sitting at the table were Guard Justin Wright-Foreman and Forward Stanton Kidd.

(Justin Wright-Foreman, right, speaking with seventh graders. Credit: Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

None of the kids knew they were coming.  For ninth-graders like Carter Volle, it was a “very cool” experience.

Volle say, “They’re playing in front of a lot of people out there, but, [we] actually get to meet them and talk to them.”

Kidd says things were different for students when he was going through school.  He believes technology is getting in the way of children reaching out and making friends.

“Now, with technology, you find ways where kids don’t interact with each other because they’re always on their phone or doing other things,” Kidd says.

He says it was just a lot of fun to have a regular conversation with students and just ask them how their day is going.

“To get this interaction going and to see the kids react to the situation is perfect,” he adds.

(Credit: Laura Seritz, Deseret News)


Wright-Foreman says he understands what it’s like to be one of the quiet kids at school.

“I know how it is.  I used to be an anti-social kid until somebody, one of my principals, told me it’s good to go out and meet people,” Wright-Foreman says.

He says the best advice he can give any of these kids is to just be themselves and to engage with people, because that’s how you make friends for the long haul.