Walk tall! England star points the way to the top

PUBLISHED: 12:06 27 February 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 11 May 2010

Looking up: Neville Austen signs the pupils’ books.

Looking up: Neville Austen signs the pupils’ books.

A FORMER England basketball star paid a visit to Greneway School to reward their aspiring pupils for their latest achievements. At 6ft 10, Neville Austen cut an impressive figure when leading the school s assembly – where he talked basketball, trophies,

Neville Austen with Greneway pupils Joe Hamlin and Kelly Stubbs.

A FORMER England basketball star paid a visit to Greneway School to reward their aspiring pupils for their latest achievements.

At 6ft 10, Neville Austen cut an impressive figure when leading the school's assembly - where he talked basketball, trophies, dedication, reaching goals, Shaquille O'Neal, and his size 17 feet.

The former London Towers centre had a playing career that spanned almost 20-years, when he won a number of trophies and personal honours, played for a variety of leading teams and represented his country.

And the 39-year-old put it all down to hard work and dedication and insists the youngsters can follow in his very large footsteps.

He said: "I had a very successful career, and enjoyed every minute of it. But it took a lot of hard work to get where I did, and if you are to achieve your goals you have to put in the work.

"And you have to keep trying and never give up, so the youngsters shouldn't be afraid of failing. Just get up and start again!"

Austen was impressed with the school's achievements and was on hand to present Greneway's successful swimming team and young sports leaders awards for their recent success.

The swimming team did well at the North Herts Schools Swimming Championships, while the sport leaders have been passing on their knowledge to younger pupils in their sports leadership sessions, including a Year 4 Tag Rugby Festival at Icknield Walk School.

Austen said: "I love going round to the schools and the youngsters are great. They look up to professional athletes and as a role model I'm happy to come down and have a talk with them.

"Hopefully they've listened to what I've had to say and if I can inspire just a few in achieving their goal, then it's a job well done.


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