Kids, Sports

Nick Gilbert: What’s Not To Like?

Nick GilbertAn unlikely hero helped lift the spirits of Cleveland Cavalier fans last week at the NBA draft lottery.

The draft is when basketball teams choose, or draft, players for the upcoming year. In the draft lottery, which happens every year, the 14 teams that didn’t make the playoffs compete to decide who will get their first overall choice of players. Everyone wants to get first pick so they can choose the best player for their team.

This year Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cavaliers, sent his 14-year-old son Nick, to the lottery to represent the team. He hoped Nick would bring them good luck.

Nick is no average fourteen-year-old. He was born with neurofibromatosis, a disorder that causes tumours to grow anywhere in the body. His father calls him his “personal hero” because he bravely fights the disorder every day. Nick has had to have brain surgery and chemotherapy treatments because of the disease and he has also lost his sight in one eye.

At the lottery, each team has one person to represent them. That person sits at a table beside the team’s logo. Nick represented the team; he wore a bow tie and a black suit as well as cool “retro” sunglasses.

Dan Gilbert’s strategy worked like a charm. The Cavaliers landed the first overall pick, even though there was only a slim chance they would land the top spot. They had gotten the pick from the Los Angeles Clippers in a trade they’d made earlier in the season. With their own pick, the Cavaliers will pick fourth.Nick Gilbert at NBA draft lottery

All of the teams will choose the players they want on June 23.

Winning the lottery is a highlight in a season that gave Cavalier fans very little to cheer about: LeBron James, their hometown superstar, jettisoned them for a chance to play with fellow superstar Dwyane Wade in Miami; the team set a new record for most consecutive losses (26); and they suffered a 55-point defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers in February.

Having the first and fourth picks in the draft is no guarantee the team will be successful. However, the players the Cavaliers will receive from those picks should help the team do a little bit better than they did this year.

After the lottery, Nick talked to the media. He shared his excitement about the lottery and talked about who he’d like the Cavs to pick. He also spoke on behalf of the Children’s Tumor Foundation. More than $22,000 was raised for the foundation because of Nick’s appearance at the lottery.

Cleveland Cavaliers What's Not To Like T-ShirtBut that wasn’t all. To top the evening off, Nick launched a new catch phrase for the Cavs.

ESPN reporter Heather Cox asked him, ”Your dad called you his own personal hero. How’s that make you feel?”  And Nick said, ”Well, I mean–what’s not to like?”

That phrase immediately caught on. Within hours, one company had printed up T-shirts with the words, “What’s not to like?”

While Nick had been talking about his dad, Cavs fans are using the words to talk about their team. The phrase has since been used by reporters and sports commentators on TV and radio. The fans think it’s a great slogan for their team.

And as for Nick Gilbert? Well, what’s not to like?


Writing/Discussion Prompt
Nick instantly created a new catch phrase for the Cavaliers when he said, “What’s not to like?”  Sports teams and companies often create catch phrases to help people remember their brands.  For example, McDonald’s catch phrase is “I’m lovin’ it” and Staples recently launched a campaign with the phrase “That was easy.”
Think of some of your favourite sports teams or brands. What are their catch phrases? Do you think the phrases impact how you connect with the companies?

Reading Prompt
This article includes some challenging words for students of all ages.  Some words that you might have found tricky could be: neurofibromatosis, disorder, tumours, chemotherapy, retro and jettisoned.
How did you figure out how to pronounce and understand these words?  What strategies did you use?  What strategies were the most helpful and why?

Primary, Junior and Intermediate
Predict the meaning of and quickly solve unfamiliar words using different types of cues, including: semantic, syntactic and graphophonic (OME, Reading: 3.2).

Grammar Feature: Declarative and Interrogative sentences
There are two different types of sentences in this article: declarative and interrogative.  Declarative sentences make a statement and end with a period.  An example of a declarative sentence would be, “An octopus has eight legs.”
An interrogative sentence asks a question and ends with a question mark.  An example would be: “Is it going to rain today?”
Underline all of the declarative sentences in green and the interrogative sentences in red.  Explain to a partner how you knew the difference.