Pacers forward visits Brook Park school


Indiana Pacers forward Obi Toppin and mascot Boomer visited Brook Park Elementary School in Lawrence for a special presentation Dec. 19 in conjunction with CareSource, a nonprofit health care organization.

During the short presentation, Toppin talked about the importance of eating healthy and getting enough exercise. He also answered questions from kids in the audience. Among the many questions, they asked how old he is (25) how tall he is (6-foot-10) and what his favorite snacks are (candy — which he admitted wasn’t a healthy choice).

One audience member asked how basketball in Indiana compared to New York City, where Toppin grew up. He said in New York, there was always a game going on somewhere, but he hadn’t driven around Indiana much to see how it compares. Toppin played for the New York Knicks until he was traded to the Pacers in 2023.

A student asked if Toppin had ever felt like giving up. He said there was a time when he didn’t have any offers to go to college, so he wasn’t sure he’d be able to attend. Toppin did end up playing for the University of Dayton before starting his NBA career.

At the close of the presentation, Toppin posed for photos with students and families that attended.

Each Brook Park family also received a Kroger voucher for a free turkey or ham along with a bag of side-dish items, according to an announcement from Metropolitan School District of Lawrence Township. Students also received a pair of gloves, a hat and some Pacers’ gear; and the school received 20 coats of varying sizes to have on hand for students who need them.