On Thursday, Vanguard University basketball player Brian Roberts stood inside a circle of children at California Elementary School in Costa Mesa. Roberts, a member of the varsity squad, had 15 minutes to drill kids in the finer points of the game — and he started with the most basic one.
"Can anybody tell me what sportsmanship is?" asked Roberts, sporting his Vanguard uniform and tucking the basketball under his arm.
The crowd was silent for a moment, and then third-grader Spencer Sjoberg put up his hand.
"If it's after a game, and the other team loses, you should go up, shake their hand and say, 'Good game,' " offered Spencer, 8.
Other students followed with their own definitions, and then Roberts went into dribbling, shooting and other essentials of basketball. Across the playground, other Vanguard athletes — who had been invited by the school to speak to kids — held workshops on kickball, handball and other sports. Each one, though, began with the same basic question: What is sportsmanship?