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Tay Fisher helps student with basketball trickFormer Harlem Globetrotter Tay “Firefly” Fisher brought his basketball skills and a positive message to Howard L. Goff Middle School on Tuesday and Wednesday for two different assemblies with students. 

On Tuesday morning, he presented his T.A.Y. Anti-Bullying Prevention Program to 6th graders. His T.A.Y. model stands for Talk, Ask Questions, and You (it’s not about me, it’s about you) while illustrating important lessons through basketball tricks.

Tay Fisher speaking to students at Goff assembly

Tay Fisher presents his bullying prevention program to 6th grade students at Goff Middle School on Tuesday morning.

He invited students to shoot hoops and perform their own tricks, all while encouraging their classmates to support them.

On Wednesday morning, Mr. Fisher returned to Goff Middle School to discuss his life story and his experiences with bias and cultural differences at an assembly for 7th and 8th graders. He talked about his passion for basketball, which led him to a college scholarship at Siena and a 10-year career with the Harlem Globetrotters that enabled him to visit all 50 states and more than 72 countries.

During his trips around the world, performing with the Globetrotters, Mr. Fisher learned about different cultures and the need to respect all people.

“That’s the best part about everything,” he told the students. “You want to be exposed to different things. Just like you, when you come to school, maybe you see somebody that’s not the same as you in color, maybe you see somebody that’s not the same as you in the way you dress, the sneakers you wear, the style that you have, that’s OK, you still have to respect them for who they are.”

Tay Fisher speaking to 7th and 8th graders at assembly

Tay Fisher discussing the importance of education to 7th and 8th graders at an assembly on Wednesday morning.

Mr. Fisher also talked about the importance of education. He told the students how he struggled with academics all his life, but through his hard work and with the support of teachers and family members, he became the first in his family to graduate from college. He has since earned his master’s degree in education, completing that degree during his travels with the Globetrotters.

“If I can do it traveling the world, there’s no reason you shouldn’t have your homework done,” he said. “You have homework? Go home and do it. There is no reason why you should not be on point with school.”

Both presentations align with Goff Middle School’s No Place for Hate Initiative that began last fall.

“Tay Fishers’s visit supports Goff Middle School’s goal to be kind and respectful to each other,” said Principal Jill Barker. “His presentations were informative and entertaining. I am certain our students will remember these lessons for years to come.”

Special thanks to Goff’s No Place for Hate committee, and its advisors Carrie Knudsen, Alexandra Omecinsky, Rachel Mathis, Karen Anderson-Green and Deputy Jeff Russo for organizing these assemblies.