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Xplorers visit Frayser Public Library

July 13, 2005 - arenafootball2 (af2) - Memphis Xplorers News Release

frayser-Memphis Xplorers players Khreem Smith and Steven Azar visited Frayser Library in Memphis on Tuesday, July 12 as part of the library's summer reading program.

The players began by involving the children in an interactive story about a fictional Xplorers game. While Azar read the story, Smith held up cards to cue the children to say a phrase when certain words were mentioned. For instance, when "Xplorers" was mentioned, the children said "Down, Set, Hut!" and when "Fans" was mentioned, the children said, "Go Xplorers!"

After reading the story, the two players introduced themselves. Smith, who is an offensive and defensive lineman, hails from Miami, Fla. and attended Oklahoma State University. He majored in elementary education and plans to teach math. Azar, a Texas native, plays kicker for the team. He attended Northern Illinois University and majored in criminal justice and psychology. In the off-season he lives in Florida and is involved in real estate.

The children watched a short video that showed a typical game experience from a fan's perspective before coming up to try on some Xplorers game gear.

"I love interacting with the kids," Smith said. "One day I'm going to teaching kids just like those, and I hope that I can use my sports experience to help them relate to what they're learning."

Before leaving, the players signed autograph books and team posters, gave out Xplorers pencils and vouchers for complimentary tickets so those in attendance could come free of charge.

"It's important that the kids have a good experience with the library now, because that will influence their thoughts on literacy and reading, which is the foundation of learning," Azar said. "Hopefully events like ours will be memories that stand out and encourage them to return often as they get older."

The Memphis Xplorers next home game is Saturday, July 16 against the Manchester Wolves at 7 p.m. at the DeSoto Civic Center. The Xplorers are 10-3 on the season and in first place in the Mid-West Division of the National Conference. Single game tickets start as low as $7 and can be purchased by calling 662-342-1755, visiting the DeSoto Civic Center box office, or by logging onto today. To see the Xplorers in your neighborhood, contact your local library.

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