maurice cheeks basketball player nba coach and singer

Maurice Cheeks – Basketball Player, NBA Coach and….Singer?

Maurice Cheeks is best known for his basketball skill – he is a talented, famous NBA coach and player. However, on April 25, 2003, Maurice took on a different role. On that day, he played the role of good Samaritan…..

Before the start of the Trail Blazers NBA game that day, a young girl named Natalie Gilbert began to sing the National Anthem. Natalie was recovering from the flu, and as she began the song she forgot the words. She started to panic, and Maurice Cheeks took action. He went over to Natalie, helped her with the words, and then even started to sing with her! The crowd joined in, and at the end of the song Maurice and Natalie got a standing ovation!

This video shows Maurice and Natalie as they sang the National Anthem together.

Additional Resources:

  • Here is an article that tells Maurice’s inspirational story.
  • Here is an article that tells Maurice’s story and other inspirational sports stories.

Topics for Discussion:

  • What made Maurice want to go over and help Natalie?
  • Have you ever helped someone on the spur of the moment like Maurice did?

Take Action:

  • Maurice saw someone in need, and he immediately took action to help her. Whose need can you take action on today?
  • Visit the Random Acts of Kindness website to learn ways you can be a good Samaritan, just like Maurice was!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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