MIDDLETOWN —The latest hustle play by a Middletown High School basketball star is taking place off the court as a volunteer mentor for an elementary student.
The helping hand is all Izaiah Day’s, a senior bound to play men’s college ball, who meets regularly with a Creekview Elementary student he has mentored in recent weeks.
According to Middletown School officials, Day’s efforts are appreciated by the fourth-grade boy, the school’s counselor and may eventually be the foundation for an expanded mentoring program between volunteer high school athletes and younger students in the city schools.
Creekview Elementary School Counselor Cindy Banfield, saw a need in the young boy for connecting with an older student he could talk to and also look up to.
Banfield and the school’s principal then reached out to Middletown High School Boys’ Basketball Coach Kelven Moss, who said he had just the right student in mind for the mentoring task.
The choice to offer the mentoring job to Day was easy, said Moss, because “he is just an all-around phenomenal kid.”
“He is so reliable and a stand-up kid,” said Moss.
“Izaiah is always looking to make an impact. So why not let him impact young students and the future leaders in our community,” he said.
Day said of his young mentee: “I look forward to each visit, just seeing him brightens my day.”
The relationship reminds him of some of the challenges he faced growing up.
“Having someone to talk to me and guide me would have been really helpful,” he said.
Banfield believes more students could benefit from this type of interaction.
She is hopeful Izaiah’s visits will spawn a larger student-mentorship program in the future.
Deborah Houser, Middletown Schools superintendent, said: “People can make a difference, no matter their age.”
“Izaiah is reinforcing positive relationships, which carry us through life. We’re so proud of him for taking time out of his busy schedule to help make a difference,” said Houser.
Banfield echoed Houser, saying “our elementary students look up to the big kids and the student-athletes. They want to be like them when they’re older.”
Day will be graduating this spring and is already enrolled start in the fall at Taylor University in Indiana, where he has earned a full-ride scholarship for both his academic and basketball skills.
He plans to pursue a degree in legal studies at Taylor, then continue his education at the University of Cincinnati, he told Middletown school officials.
Moss predicts Day “will do a phenomenal job in motivating that kid to stay positive.”
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