BU Bearcats visit East Middle School

BU Bearcats visit East Middle School

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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Eighth graders at East Middle School got a visit from the Binghamton Bearcats for the 'Stay in to Win' program. 

The nationwide program is sponsored by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and aims to promote student success and to prevent drop outs.

The division one athletes spoke to the students on a variety of topics. One of the points discussed was surrounding yourself with positive people.  

Bearcat John Rinaldi, a senior who has a double major in business administration and accounting, was one of the college students on the special visit.  He said the people in his life led him to continue his studies and pursue basketball in college.

"Good coaches, good teachers, at my high school alma mater and everything and even after this point even at Binghamton," Rinaldi of Dunmore, Pennsylvania said.  "So I think I have been lucky to have good people in my life to lead me the right way so far."

Speaking with the students, Rinaldi brings his journey as a student-athlete full-circle, as he remembers looking up to athletes.

"I remember when I was a younger kid, I think the football team went to the state championship and I thought that was the biggest deal and they came to talk to us," Rinaldi said.

One of the students inspired by the event is Trinity Whitmore of Binghamton.  She looks to pursue the arts and film in the future.  She identified with the advice from the Bearcats to stay motivated to achieve career goals.

"To make sure your focus is in the classroom and that you are always surrounding yourself in a good academic place," Whitmore said.

The principal of East Middle School, Tim Simonds, said he sees the program becoming an annual event at the school because it teaches the students important life skills.

"How to choose the goal, how to create those steps to earn the goal, what behaviors do you need to perform in various settings," Simonds said.

Pete Corasaniti, the coordinator of men's basketball player development, said the event is a great way for the athletes to get into the community and meet the students who look up to them.

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