By Michelle Durham
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Former Roman Catholic High School student and current Philadelphia 76ers point guard Maalik Wayns returned to his alma mater to speak to students on Tuesday afternoon.
Before playing college basketball at Villanova University and later signing with the Sixers as an undrafted free agent, Wayns was a star basketball player at Roman. He realizes how fortunate he is, and he wants to give back.
“Roman, they gave me a chance, they gave me the opportunity to become something of myself,” Wayns says. “A lot of great people here helped me and so I feel as though it’s a great thing to come and give back and talk to the kids and just remind them what I went through and what it takes.”
Wayns now serves as a role model for current students and Roman Catholic.
“It’s a great opportunity,” says sophomore Manny Taylor, a member of Roman’s basketball team. “Because he’s been through Roman, he’s already experienced what I am going through, the hard times of high school. He’s been there. Where he went and how he got there, I want to experience that journey.”
Wayns says his favorite memory of Roman is the school’s disciplinarian, Mr. Kane.
“I was wild in my freshman year, getting into a little bit of trouble,” Wayns admits. “But then I went to conduct summer school. That really calmed down and turned me around.”
Wayns signed with the Sixers before the start of the 2012-13 NBA season.