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Students from Jean Marie River spent an afternoon with four members of the Casanova Comedy Kings talking about making good decisions and playing basketball. - photo courtesy of Tammy Neal

Learning on the court

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Wednesday, March 02, 2007

JEAN MARIE RIVER - The gymnasium in Jean Marie River became a venue for both learning and entertainment with a little help from the Casanova Comedy Kings last week.

Four members of the Edmonton based group shared their inspirational message and comedic basketball routine with the community on Feb. 19.

After hearing the Comedy Kings were touring the region the decision was made to bring them in, said Ericson Sanguez the community's recreation coordinator, who organized the visit along with Tammy Neal, the band manager. The group performed in Fort Providence on Feb. 6.

"They do such good stuff with kids," said Sanguez.

The visit proved to be popular with both the students from Louie Norwegian school and older community members. Lots of people came out for the afternoon workshop that started with a chili and bannock luncheon, said Sanguez.

The four group members shared a message that included the importance of staying in school and staying away from drugs and alcohol. They also talked about bullying and being respectful.

"They taught us how to be polite to each other," said Isabelle Menacho, a student.

Following the talk, the Comedy Kings shared some basketball tips and played some fun four-on-four games against both the boys and the girls.

The basketball routine is what stuck out for Menacho.

Although she'd played basketball before, Menacho said no one had ever really taught her the fundamentals of the game. The four athletes showed students how to dribble, pass and aim better, she said.

"It was really great," she said.

Gerald Norwegian also enjoyed the workshop.

"I liked playing basketball with them," said Norwegian, adding that he improved his abilities on the court.

The comedic bantering that is integrated into the game was also well received.

"They made us laugh," said Norwegian.