Mollie Resnick wants to be an FBI agent and Sean Chen hopes to own a business. Both high school seniors drew powerful lessons about life from the two professional basketball players who visited their Garden City school Tuesday.
The two players — Devin Cannady and C.J. Massinburg — are both guards for the Long Island Nets, the minor league team where talent is developed for the Brooklyn Nets. They visited the Waldorf School where they talked about their careers and some lessons they've learned.
Speaking to the boys and girls basketball teams, the players emphasized the hard work that it's taken to make it this far while striving to make it to the big leagues.
Massinburg, 22, said that after playing high school ball, he didn't see any scholarship offers come in until there was finally an offer from the University at Buffalo. Last year, his college play earned him the 2019 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year.
"I had to keep working hard, stay focused," the 6-foot-5 guard told the high school players gathered in the school gym. "Now I'm able to play professional basketball for the Long Island Nets."
Cannady, 23, said he was the first in his family to go to college. He's just finished his studies at Princeton University, and talked about completing a final paper moments before he had to play a game. He stressed that he was on this team to grow and develop, hoping he makes it to the NBA.
"You have to stay focused on your journey," he said.
The two players came to the school to donate a snowblower, ice spreader and other winter equipment on behalf of the team and Costello's Ace Hardware, which has several locations on Long Island.
Resnick, 18, of Rockville Centre, said she was struck by Cannady's work ethic.
"I could see that as a student attending college, when others were relaxing, he was doing his research paper," she said.
Chen, 19, of Garden City, echoed that sentiment.
"I could see firsthand the hard work," he said.
After the players spoke to the students, they participated in a three-point shooting contest with several of them. They posed for pictures, as well. The players said they appreciated the opportunity to give back to the community.
"When I was a kid I always wanted to be around people I looked up to," said Massinburg. "It gives kids hope."