Harlem Globetrotter brings anti-drug message to Grainger schools

Harlem Globetrotter brings anti-drug message to Grainger County students

Posted:
Eugene "Iceman" Raines plays basketball for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. Eugene "Iceman" Raines plays basketball for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters.
"You can do anything you want to do if you use the right chemistry, minus the drugs and alcohol," Iceman told the students. "You can do anything you want to do if you use the right chemistry, minus the drugs and alcohol," Iceman told the students.
Nearly 500 kids heard his message at Rutledge Middle School. Nearly 500 kids heard his message at Rutledge Middle School.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

RUTLEDGE (WATE) - The Grainger County Sheriff's Office used some star power Friday to bring anti-drug awareness to students. Four schools got a visit by a Harlem Globetrotter.

The show was about much more than those hard-to-believe dunks and half-court shots. It was about saving lives.

Eugene "Iceman" Raines plays basketball for the world famous Harlem Globetrotters, but a raging addiction to drugs and alcohol almost benched his career.

He spoke out Friday against drugs to the students at Rutledge Middle School. "Something in my heart forces me to try to help these young people," he said.

The sheriff's office brought him there as part of its effort to combat drug use, which has exploded in recent years.

"In two and a half years, we've arrested on over 1,700 drug charges, 1,700 in two and a half years," said Sheriff Scott Layel.

They hope to fight the problem in this age group before it gets out of control, and they say Iceman's visit couldn't come a moment too soon.

When Iceman asked the students who had already tried some sort of illegal substance, a large number of the nearly 500 came forward.

"It was a real eye-opener today to see how many people had taken a sip of alcohol or taken any drugs. I didn't think there was any of it going on," said eighth grader Mason Watson.

Iceman urged the students to use their power of choice and choose to say no. "You can do anything you want to do if you use the right chemistry, minus the drugs and alcohol. Because if you add them to the chemistry, it's not going to work," he said.

Students say his message really hit home. "He actually told the truth about these things. No one ever seems to tell the truth about how this stuff works and what it can do to your body. They always sugarcoat it," Watson said.

The sheriff's office hopes Iceman's presentation will be the starting point of a stronger anti-drug message that begins in the schools and spreads across the community.

Iceman will also help the sheriff's office raise funds for the Shop with a Cop program.

Last year, they took 75 underprivileged children Christmas shopping. With his help, they hope to take at least 150 kids shopping this year.

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