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NBA Star Fulfills Childhood Dream as Teacher for a Day



Quick Smiles:

  • NBA star Mikal Bridges fulfills his childhood dream of becoming a teacher by working at a Brooklyn school for a day.
  • Bridges, who has a fondness for second grade, was inspired by his second-grade teacher, Ms. Porter, to pursue this dream.
  • Despite a late-night game, Bridges’ enthusiasm was fueled by the students’ energy, and he taught classes ranging from gym to math.

Mikal Bridges, a renowned player for the Brooklyn Nets, has always held a unique dream alongside his basketball career. “My other dream was being a second grade teacher,” he shared. “I think just helping kids has always been a big thing of mine.”

Why second grade? “Because I loved second grade when I was young,” he explained. “I feel like that was one of the years I really remember. Just having a great year. I had a great teacher named Ms. Porter and just I feel like I always loved second grade.”

Bridges’ childhood in Philadelphia was significantly influenced by Ms. Porter, who inspired him to follow his teaching dream. This month, he got the chance to live out this dream at PS 134 in Brooklyn, where he served as a substitute teacher for a day.

Despite a late-night game against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Bridges was eager to fulfill his commitment to the students. “Their energy was just like, what got me going so fast. They got me excited,” he shared.

His day began with a lively basketball game in gym class with fourth graders. The towering 6’6” player, who was drafted to the NBA in 2018, organized a game of knockout for the kids and answered their curious questions.

One student asked, “How do you incorporate your personal life with your professional life?”


“I like that [question],” he responded. “It’s not that bad, actually. I think the biggest thing is time. In season, you don’t have that much time because I travel a lot. But I’ve been in it about for six years now, so I found a good balance hanging out with friends and relaxing and preparing for the games.”

When asked why he didn’t become a teacher, Bridges replied, “Because of basketball. But basketball doesn’t go forever,” he said. “This is just the first part of my journey, so I think teacher is going to come up next. Trying to do both.”

After gym, Bridges joined a first-grade music class. “They were teaching me on the little xylophone. I didn’t know what I was doing … what the teacher was teaching,” he admitted. “The kid next to me was pointing at the board like, ‘Follow that, follow that.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, ok. That makes sense.’”

During recess, the kids were thrilled to share their own basketball experiences with Bridges. They were in awe of his height, and one even paused their game to ask him for a hug.

Bridges also spent time answering first graders’ riddles during lunch. However, his favorite class to teach was math. “Math came easy to me. I feel like I was probably one of the smartest math kids in our class,” he said, adding that when he was a kid, he’d help other students. “I’ll try to teach them. Like, ‘Oh, this is how I learned it and it’s pretty simple to me this way. Just think of this way.’”

The students were thrilled with their temporary teacher, Mr. Bridges. While meeting an NBA star is a dream come true for many kids, for Bridges, meeting these students was the realization of his own dream.


“A lot of days, we’re in school,” he said. “And we’re with our teachers and I think they just don’t get enough credit. Because we’re around them a lot, you know what I’m saying. And they help us become better people every day. And I think some are overlooked a little bit.”

Bridges envisions a future in education post his NBA career, aspiring to become a teacher, or even a principal.