WNBA Nothing But N.E.T. Challenge

By Rob Reheuser

Atlanta, February 5, 2003 -- In basketball, the phrase “Nothing But Net” describes a shot that never touches rim on its descent through the basket. This phrase took on a whole new meaning Wednesday morning for the students of Adamsville Elementary School, as the WNBA Nothing But N.E.T. Challenge came to town.

The event, one of several community initiatives taking place in Atlanta this week, is designed to promote N.E.T, which stands for nutrition, exercise and positive attitude, or ’tude. So instead of not touching, N.E.T is all about touching kids in a meaningful way.

On hand to help educate students on the value of N.E.T. were NBA Hall of Famer Nate “Tiny” Archibald, CNN Science Correspondent Ann Kellan, who served as emcee, and WNBA players Carla McGhee, Nykesha Sales, Lady Grooms, Ticha Penicheiro, Kelly Miller and Coco Miller.

Ticha Penicheiro talks with a young fan at the WNBA Nothing But N.E.T. Challenge on Feb. 5.
M. David Leeds/WNBAE/Getty Images
Students were divided into three groups according to grade (3-5) and then shipped through three different stations, each focusing on one principle of N.E.T. Each group received a certain amount of points based on how well they performed the required tasks.

At the “Nutrition” stop, the Miller twins led students in an exercise in which students were asked to categorize certain foods according to the proper food group.

In the “Exercise” section, McGhee and Sales, teammates with the Connecticut Sun, led students in a series of physical challenges.

“These kids need to know that you can have fun being a total person, eating right, exercising and having that right attitude, and that it’s going to get you far in life,” said McGhee, who says she didn’t develop the right attitude until she got to college. “I applaud the WNBA for coming up with something like this. These kids are our future, and how strong or bright that future is going to be depends on kids like these.”

At the “Attitude” stop, Archibald stressed the importance of education and how that leads to having a positive attitude; Penicheiro talked about emigrating to the United States and how important it was for here to stay upbeat and positive during a difficult transition in her life; Grooms, Penicheiro’s teammate with Sacramento, talked about growing up in Atlanta and overcoming obstacles with the right approach to life.

“This is a great chance for us to interact with these kids,” said Penicheiro. “I never really had anything like this growing up. Kids really listen and it’s important for us to feed them the right messages.”

The fifth grade group finished with the most points and won tickets to attend the NBA’s Read to Achieve Celebration at Jam Session. The other two groups were awarded tickets to Jam Session.

“I would have really enjoyed having this as a child,” said Sales. “I’m still learning about nutrition, and exercise and having the right attitude. It’s good that they’re starting early because they’ll become better people for it.”