Motivation for Student Athletes in Luzerne County

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JENKINS TOWNSHIP -- More than 300 student athletes from all over Luzerne County gathered at Pittston Area High School for one hour, intensely focused on a speech from Lance Allred.

Allred was the first legally deaf man to play professional basketball in the NBA.

"With my hearing loss, I had to learn to play a different game. I had to learn to play by different rules," said Allred during his speech.

Allred spoke from one athlete to another, telling his life story of perseverance and grit to show the young athletes how to win, not only in sports, but also in life.

The Luzerne Intermediate Unit organized the event.

"I think it's awesome that they did this. Definitely to get a perspective from a professional athlete coming in and talking to student athletes everywhere so we can get a grip on what hard work really gets you," said Pittston Area High School Athlete Taryn Ashaby.

For one Pittston Area High School student athlete with a disability, the former Cleveland Cavalier player's life story is proof that anything is possible.

"Since I was little I had a cast. The first six months of my life I had a cast. I never thought I'd be able to play," said Pittston Area High School basketball player Justin Coyne. "This helps me a lot."

"That's what it is all about. I love speaking to corporate and nonprofit. I get to connect with people, but it is all so that I have the freedom and versatility to speak to kids," said Allred, "Even if it's one kid out of 500 that I changed his life today, then it's all worth it."

Allred has a TEDx talk online, where much of his motivation speech can be heard.