One of the greatest moments in Seth Franco's life came not on a basketball court, but in a hospital delivery room.
The former Harlem Globetrotter told an audience of Scranton High School students Monday it doesn't matter to his daughter, now 4, how good he is with a basketball.
"She cares about what type of person I am on the inside," Mr. Franco said. "You know what, guys? You have to think about things like that when you're faced with some of these teenage passions and issues you have - what type of person do I want to be later down the road?"
In a sometimes freewheeling presentation that mixed deft basketball wizardry with serious talk about setting goals and making the right choices, Mr. Franco promoted the values embodied in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes' One Way 2 Play program to several hundred freshmen and sophomores.
His appearance, which included a second presentation Monday afternoon at West Scranton High School, was sponsored by the NEPA Miners football organization.
Mr. Franco, who in 2003 became the first white player on the Globetrotters in more than 60 years, told the students every life has highs and lows. While most people go after the high moments, he said, you also have to prepare for the lows and find the strength to push through them.
"It starts with the small stuff. Maybe you've made a few mistakes. Maybe you haven't been the best you can be. That's yesterday. You pick yourself up. You dust yourself off, and you go forward again," he said.
Although not every dream comes true, sometimes they come true in unexpected, even costly ways, he said.
"Most of our dreams are centered around ourselves because we are naturally selfish," Mr. Franco said. "But, listen up, the greatest dream is when you do something for someone else and make a difference in their life."
Mr. Franco said there is a difference between being a dreamer and living a dream. Everyone would like to be the best, but only one person can be, he said.
"Instead of stepping over everyone trying to get to the top, I've found the greatest joy in life comes from when you help someone take another step higher," he said. "And sometimes in order to do that you have to take a step down."
Dan LaMagna, president, owner and general manager of the Miners, said his organization supports the FCA and One Way 2 Play program, which was developed to confront the problem of drug and alcohol use by students by instilling positive values.
"There is so much negativity out there," he said. "If you get the message out to kids and plant those positive seeds in their head, hopefully it will grow."
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Former Harlem Globetrotter and motivational speaker Seth Franco mixed basketball tricks with advice on life Monday when he spoke to Scranton High School students about goals, religion and being drug free. Mr. Franco told the students they should make the right decisions but be ready for the unexpected lows life throws at them. "Instead of stepping over everyone trying to get to the top, I've found the greatest joy in life comes from when you help someone take another step higher," he said at the event, sponsored by NEPA Miners and One Way 2 Play.
BY DAVID SINGLETON - Scranton Times