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Kiambra Griffin: Basketball Captain Encourages Peers On and Off the Court

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This week's NY1/Time Warner Cable Business Class Scholar Athlete of the Week has set the bar for future students in both sports and academics. NY1's Anthony Pascale filed the following report.

Kiambra Griffin is more than the captain of the Columbia Secondary School basketball team; she's its biggest cheerleader.

"She would be way more vocal on the bench than I was," says Brandon Fremd, a biology teacher and basketball coach at the school. "I had to sometimes hold her back a little bit."

"I think that's one thing that athletics have taught me," Griffin says. "That it's not all about you, it's about the team and all about getting to that same goal."

Griffin is the team's best shooter, but her coaches say her most impressive talent is her ability to teach and motivate her teammates.

"Captain doesn't describe who Kiambra was," says Fremd. "She was basically a player coach. It was very easy for me to say, okay Kiambra, lead it."

"I don't want to be the superstar of the team, I want to be able help other girls to learn the game of basketball," says Griffin.

Teachers say Griffin shows these same skills in the classroom, where she is always engaged and encouraging her peers.

"She's a very enthusiastic class participator, she's a leader among her peers, also even in the group work," says Ari Rubin, an English teacher and basketball coach.

"I sometimes put students in her group that don't pay attention as much or have trouble staying focused, so Kiambra can keep them on task just as much as learning for herself," Fremd says.

This active approach has earned Griffin an A average, even in the college-level courses she takes at Columbia University. She continues her learning outside the classroom as part of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund. Through this college prep program, she says she's expanded her worldview by participating in service projects all around the world.

"In the Dominican Republic, we were able to help build a composting latrine. I would say the Dominican Republic was one of my favorite trips, because it was related to what I want to do and pursue in college, which is environmental science," Griffin says.

So for using her boundless energy to inspire others, Kiambra Griffin is the NY1/Time Warner Cable Business Class Scholar Athlete of the Week.

Nominate A Student

The NY1/Time Warner Cable Business Class Scholar Athlete program celebrates student athletes who successfully combine academics with athletics, and also find time for community service. The program, operated in conjunction with the New York City Department of Education, is open to any senior attending a New York City public high school.

 

Each week of the school year, a selected student is profiled on NY1 and receives a partial scholarship to the school they choose to attend in the fall.

 

To apply, download and print out the official Scholar Athlete application, then mail it to the address on the form.

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