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'They couldn't believe he was actually a real person'

The sixth-graders at Hollywood Elementary School in College Park are taking the Maryland School Assessment tests this week, and it's safe to say most of them were not looking forward to the experience. In search of a way to motivate her students, Ali Pascucci called one of her old college friends on Monday and asked him if he could drop by at some point during the week to say a few words.

Pascucci was on the competitive cheerleading team at Maryland -- where she gradutated in May 2009 -- and her old friend was Greivis Vasquez.

The plan was for Vasquez to come Tuesday morning at 10:30 a.m., but when he showed up the kids still were taking their tests. The people at the front office told him he couldn't enter, so he called Pascucci and told her he would come back at 1 p.m.

When Vasquez returned, the kids were outside at recess, so he and Pascucci chatted in her classroom. Vasquez mentioned that he might not be able to stay for too long because the ACC player of the year was supposed to be announced soon and depending on the result, he might have to field a flurry of phone calls.

That comment reminded Pascucci of a text message her father had sent her shortly before Vasquez had arrived at the school. I don’t know if Greivis already came to your school, but make sure you congratulate him. He just got ACC player of the year.

"I was like, 'Greivis, I think actually they already announced it. I think you got it. Congratulations," Pascucci said. "He was like, 'Oh my gosh, really?' He got kind of choked up. He couldn’t believe it. He had his phone off so it didn’t ring while the kids were in here. I was really appreciative that he stayed even though he had just found that out and probably wanted to call everyone he knew."

Vasquez stayed and chatted with the kids in Pascucci's class for about a half an hour. Pascucci said he has a lot of Hispanic children in her class and that "they loved the fact that he had an accent, too."

He told an enraptured class to study hard and to go to college and to get a degree. Vasquez told them that if he goes to the NBA and an injury ends his career after two years, he'll need his degree because basketball won't be an option for him anymore.

The kids were in awe, according to Pascucci. She said they couldn't believe Vasquez was so tall and that he could fit through the doorway. They all asked for autographs and then took a class picture with him.

They wanted to know which NBA team Vasquez would sign with. He couldn't provide them a specific answer on that one.

"I couldn’t believe how good he was with the kids and how much of an impact he really had," Pascucci said. "They all seemed so motivated. Because a lot of the kids in my class – all the boys especially – are big into sports. And to hear him say that, you know, he was telling them: ‘I still go to class. You think I’m some big athlete, but I still have to go to class. I still do homework.’ They were in awe that he actually had to go to class and he actually had to do homework. They couldn’t believe that he was actually a real person aside from being an athlete."

By Steve Yanda  |  March 10, 2010; 12:57 PM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Great story. Greivis is a good dude.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 10, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

but did he give them a shimmy shake???

Posted by: deadskin | March 10, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll definitely be happy to see Vasquez graduate. Don't get me wrong - I'm sad to see him leave, but it's good to see that college is still a part of college basketball for some people.

Posted by: acebojangles | March 10, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Just like 2007. The terps had a great season, won 25 games, won double digit games in the ACC, beat Duke twice and knocked off top 5 UNC. And yet, Petecard considers that an awful season because we fell one basket shy of the sweet 16.


Posted by: Barno1 | March 10, 2010 11:30 AM

I love it, "fell one basket shy of the sweet 16." So in the glorious 2007 Terps season they DIDN'T EVEN GET TO THE SWEET 16.

Yet, somehow that's still peaches and candy to barno because we beat duke and unc in the regular season.

But no worries becuase we made it to the round of 32 and were just ONE basket from the sweet-16, just one.

Of course I remember some posters on here, last season, trying to trump up the fact that MD beat 2 of the final 4 teams, like that was some sort of feat, especially considering those teams were playing in the final 4 and UMD was at home playing videogames and going to Kinesology 204 with the rest of the student body.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 10, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

And yes, you're right petecard, what really matters is how the Terps do in the big dance, although I do think they will (and should) make the ACC Tourney Championship game on Sunday.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 10, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like you spent your time more wisely than others yesterday, too, pete. I hit the links on Sunday morning before golf and it was a fun day. Yesterday, unfortunately I was holed up with a cold (let's hope I don't go the way of Corey Haim) so I subjected myself to some masochism.

Also, I love how Mr. Copy/Paste responds to people who "praise" him for his copy/paste antics yet somehow misses and/or doesn't respond to the posters yesterday who thought he needed to get a life with is daily-dose of copy/pastes.

Of course I think Vegas just put up the odds of Copy/Paste hijacking a thread today with his typical, internet troll copying and pasting.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 10, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

This is a very cool story about GV, we have really seen this young man grow up before our eyes. It probably helps get GV to a elementary school when the teacher is easy on the eyes too.

Poopy, save your faux-outrage for another day. Too much good is happening in real Terp land to have beef in fake Terp land.

Posted by: jpfterps | March 10, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Can we talk about there being a school in college park named Hollywood Elementary?

Posted by: Barno1 | March 10, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Too much good is happening in real Terp land to have beef in fake Terp land.

Posted by: jpfterps | March 10, 2010 2:29 PM

Maybe you should've given this message to Barno yesterday before he went and hijacked a thread with his copy/paste antics.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | March 10, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

This should help GVs draft status in the Israeli league draft after his season ends next weekend.

Posted by: pstew652 | March 10, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Poop I posted something similar to Barno yesterday.

Pstew, you are a diabolical hater. Excuse me while I go put some water in your mom's dish.

Posted by: jpfterps | March 10, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Why does GV have the face of a prepubescent 14 year old girl? Bet the Israeli chicks will love that.

Posted by: gillespietj | March 10, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Does Israel have an NBA team? I know they are the 51st State but was unsure of whether they were awarded a team yet.

I can see GV in Denver with the 28th pick.

Posted by: fushezzi | March 10, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

gillespietj is the expert in israeli chicks

Posted by: jpfterps | March 10, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Ah, love the personal attacks about GV's face. Guess you can't attack his game anymmore gillespietj so you've got to find something else to attack. I heard the leader of his country is a dictator too, better go attack GV for that too

Posted by: Barno1 | March 10, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

GVs facial hair atrocity does make him look like an extra out of You Dont Mess With The Zohan which had Israelis in it.

Posted by: pstew652 | March 10, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Denver doesn't need a back up point guard now that they've got Billups, Carter, and Lawson. And they don't have the 28th pick.

I can see Orlando taking him at 28. Or maybe the Wiz, tho without Abe around we are much less likely to take a former Terp.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 10, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

He got that look from Barnyard1.

Posted by: gillespietj | March 10, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Isreal is led by a dictator?

Posted by: fushezzi | March 10, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure Grievous' game is beyond reproach. He throws up some ridiculous shots and is a suspect decision maker. But he's silenced his critics. I woulda liked to have seen how '01 Gary coaches grievous. Something tells me GVs leash woulda been 10x shorter.

Thanks for the terps insider invite jpfterps. You were right, these guys do need to get a life...

Posted by: pstew652 | March 10, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Beat it pstew. I'm ordering nonstop "mcnulties" on your tab friday night.

Posted by: Barno1 | March 10, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

As long as you on my tab prevents you from drinking other peoples left over McNultys off the bar again I'm cool with it.

Posted by: pstew652 | March 10, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

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