Pint-sized Oakland kindergarteners on Wednesday screamed for their special visitor for after-school story time — the Golden State Warriors' 7-foot center.
Allendale Elementary School students listened in rapt attention to JaVale McGee and assistant coach Mike Brown, hanging on every word of "The Berenstain Bears and the Golden Rule." Some even got to read on stage, sitting next to the basketball professionals who helped out with tough words.
McGee talked about how reading got him into college, which was a key step in his basketball career. Brown spoke about reading scouting reports on LeBron James, which even the grade-schoolers knew was the cue for all faithful Oakland fans, no matter how small, to boo Golden State's arch enemy.
Brown spoke fondly of reading aloud to his two sons when they were younger. He recalled that their favorite book was Dr. Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham," which got knowing nods from the beginning level readers.
McGee is newer to reading aloud to children. His daughter is only four months old and not attentive to her dad's recitations of "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle.
McGee distributed prizes and each child left with a stack of books.
Oddly enough, some were given a short paperback biography of LeBron James. Fourth-grader Trevor Boarder tried to leave it under a chair — far more interested in a picture book about his hometown heroes: the Warriors.