By Rick Wells, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- An exceptional group of middle school students from Thoreau Demonstration Academy have won the city 8th Grade Basketball Championship. The same team won the 7th Grade Championship last year and the 6th Grade Championship the year before that. In basketball terms, that's a three peat.
The Thoreau Timberwolves played Cleveland Middle School to claim their third city championship.
"They're here because you've done something spectacular," said Principal Tom Padalino.
Three consecutive championships are certainly worth talking about, but there's more to the kids than basketball. Some of the young men are on the student council, in the band, in drama; almost all are honor roll students. The overall team grade point average is 3.44. Of course, one of their secrets of success on the court is that they're pretty tall.
"Our starters are 6'3'', 6'3'', 6'0'', 5'11', 5'10". When we get on the court we look over them. We're more skilled most of the time and quicker, too," said Jackson Fuselier.
And they are only 14. But, once again, it's all the rest that makes them unique and important to point out, attendance at Thoreau is based on a lottery. Students apply and an equal number are selected from all quadrants of the city. Most never met before 6th grade. For the coach, it has been a very happy coincidence.
"It's not necessarily the most talented kids, some talented, great in the classroom, just great kids to be around. I only had this experience one other time. So, you enjoy it while it lasts," said Rabu Leyva.
Now the teammates will get disbursed to high schools throughout the city.