Indiana Pacers guard Lance Stephenson hugs the winners of his Ultimate Prom Experience on Tuesday at Southport High School.
A bevy of Southport High School students will be cheering extra hard for Lance Stephenson on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. as the Pacers starting guard takes to the court for game two of the NBA playoff series against the Washington Wizards, which Indiana now trails 0-1 after a Monday night loss at home.
Stephenson on Tuesday made a surprise visit to the school in which he provided three girls with full-ride prom packages in addition to other giveaways. Stephenson conducted an essay contest to determine the winners.
When asked about the significance of Stephenson's gift, Stephanie Maier, one of the recipients, observed: "It means that people like Lance who have the opportunity to help other people are going out of their way to do it."
When asked what advice he had for kids, who, like he once did, will be struggling to put their best foot forward under tight budgets this prom season, Lance admitted that embarrassment over his threads kept him off the dance floor during his prom, but it also amped up his drive to succeed.
"I worked so hard to be where I'm at," Stephenson said. "Just being a good guy ... I got this far."
Stephenson's publicist, Dutchess Adjei, provided the following synopsis of the winners' stories:
Stephanie Maier is a senior who has undergone several critical medical surgeries throughout high school. She will continue to face other medical challenges in her future. With all this, she has persevered and is graduating eighth in her class and plans to attend University of Pittsburgh in the fall.
Raiona Griffin is a junior who has experienced many personal family challenges. As with many, her family has faced economic hardships and challenges which would have made attending prom overwhelming. However, her desire to remain positive and upbeat, which captured a winning spot in the second annual Lance Stephenson's Ultimate Prom Experience. With the help of her single parent mother, she continues to be upbeat and focused on her schooling and future as she heads into her senior year.
Shelby Frye is a senior who always has a smile on her face. Both her and her boyfriend have been dubbed the "the most committed couple." She has had a series of difficult family struggles. She has stepped up in her household, working two jobs, and maintaining good grades. She has been accepted to several colleges and is making her decision anytime now!
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