"Firefly" Fisher excites Utica kids


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - In preparation for next week's visit by the Harlem Globetrotters, former Siena star Tay "Firefly" Fisher went to a pair of local elementary schools to teach kids about the team's C.H.E.E.R. program.  Firefly was a hit with the kids at both JFK and Deerfield.

"I'm just talking from the heart, so therefore there's nothing I need to rehearse, nothing is a lie," Fisher said after the program was over.  "The Globetrotters are ambassadors, the Globetrotters have been around for 86 years, people love us, so I'm just happy that I'm in this situation.  To come to a school is always great for me, because one day I want to become a teacher."

In Deerfield, Fisher picked out several kids to join him in the middle of the gym, where he taught them some Globetrotter moves, as well as showed off some of his own.  He also singled out the boy who won the radio contest that brought Fisher to his school.

"As a young kid, I never got the chance to see the Globetrotters," Fisher said.  "I have to get them to understand the reason I'm here today is because I never stopped working hard, never gave up.  As much as I can, I like to make sure the kids know what's going on, hopefully they can be successful as well."

The C.H.E.E.R. program that Fisher taught the kids about stands for Cooperation, Healthy mind and body, Effort, Enthusiasm and Responsibility.

"I grew up in a pretty rough neighborhood, it was hard for me to even get into college, but I just kept working hard and I feel like being a mentor, being a role model, becoming a teacher even a Globetrotter, that I go to connect to the kids early.  I feel like if you do it early, like at the elementary level, that eventually they'll get it later."

Fisher was a key player on Siena's 2008 NCAA Tournament team that upset Vanderbilt in the first round.

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