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Granata uses ball-handling skills to get his motivational message across

Granata uses ball-handling skills to get his motivational message across

February 16, 2009|By JANET HEIM

SMITHSBURG - Steve Granata has always loved basketball, but as a teen he realized that his short stature would most likely derail his dream of playing in the NBA.

He has a vivid recollection of a basketball assembly during his middle school years growing up in Ohio. It provided the model for Granata's current career - combining his basketball skills and can-do attitude in educational assemblies for a company called Academic Entertainment.

Smithsburg Middle School students got to witness Granata's motivational program, "The Totally Courageous Basketball Exhibition," on Feb. 5.

The progressive show, sponsored by the Smithsburg Middle School PTSA, demonstrated the power of patience and breaking goals down into small steps. Granata began his drills using one basketball, but by the end had seven basketballs in motion, drawing loud applause from the appreciative audience.

"When I started, I couldn't do any of the things I'm going to show you. It took practice. You put the small steps together to make something big," Granata said.

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He also invited several students in the two assemblies - one for sixth- and seventh-graders, one for eighth-graders - down to the basketball court to learn some of his tricks.

Throughout the program, Granata shared "three pointers for winning at the game of life" - effort, perseverance and believing in yourself. He reminded students that these pointers will help them at all stages of their lives, whether it be in education or careers.

"You have to be willing to do what other people aren't willing to do. Take that extra step," he said.

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