“I wrote music on my basketball because I like to sing, and I play clarinet,” Lemmon said.
Other students, including Isaac Stoops, said sports like basketball and football inspire them.
Carroll said he hoped students learned that the biggest circumstances don’t dictate an individual’s end story.
Earlier in the week, Carroll emphasized this sentiment when he donated sports balls, outdoor play balls, hand pumps and books to Briarwood Elementary and Plaza Towers Elementary. Carroll delivered more than 100 balls to each school and said he believes play connects everyone as much as music does.
In September, OU’s Office of Leadership and Volunteerism launched a ball drive to build momentum for Carroll’s visit.
The ball drive is a donation effort to collect new playground balls to benefit Plaza Towers Elementary School, Briarwood Elementary School, Longfellow Middle School, Irving Middle School, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oklahoma County and other local and after-school programs.
“When I saw what happened (May tornadoes), I thought, ‘Those kids are losing their play.’ I wanted to help,” Carroll said. “We should never marginalize play. Kids need a chance to express themselves.”
Briarwood Elementary principal Shelly McMillin said the school was grateful for Carroll’s donation because the school can never have enough playground balls. Physical education teacher Kevin Hixson said the school started with nothing this year.
“It’s wonderful and overwhelming, the outpour of help we’ve received,” Hixson said.
Donations for the ball drive can be delivered during regular work hours to the Leadership and Volunteerism office in rooms 249-253 of Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave.
Donations also may be made prior to Carroll’s “We All Speak Ball” presentation Thursday at the Oklahoma Memorial Union, Molly Shi Boren Ballroom, and during the public opening reception of his exhibit Friday at the Sam Noble Museum. Any new athletic balls will be accepted.
For more information, visit leadandvolunteer.ou.edu.
All of Carroll’s appearances were sponsored by the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History, OU Leadership and Volunteerism, the Division of Student Affairs, Sooner Parents, the OU Department of Intercollegiate Athletics, OU Information Technology, OU Enrollment and Student Financial Services, the OU Alumni Association and OU Web Communications and through community collaboration with the OKC Thunder.