Pacers Players in Town to Pay Back After Brawl

Aug 23, 2006 11:19 AM

(by Julian Grace)

Three NBA players involved in the infamous palace brawl pay their debt to society right here in mid-Michigan. Indiana Pacers players Jermaine O'Neal, David Harrison and Steven Jackson spent the day at Lansings' Sankofa Shule Academy doing community service.

A judge ordered the three to do volunteer work in Michigan for their part in that infamous brawl with the Pistons and their fans. Video of the brawl has been played over and over since it happened. It is an image the players involved want to put behind them, so to escape the media circus in Detroit, they decided to do their community service here in Lansing.

You can't tell from the tinted windows, but inside the two SUVs are pacers Jermaine O'Neal, Steve Jackson and David Harrison. All three players spent six hours at Sankofa Shule teaching kids how to right their wrongs and how to control their temper.

Treshawn Hursey, student: "He said, if you get in trouble, you have to be prepared for the consequences."

The Pacers organization would not allow us to interview the players, nor would school officials allow us inside the building during the Pacers visit, but those who got front-row seats say Pacers star player Jermaine O'Neal had a special impact.

Jamie Jones, student: "He said he did not want to be known as the player who fought their fans. He does not want to leave that impression."

The players left a different impression- they signed autographs, gave away prizes and picked up a few new fans along the way. We did catch a glimpse of the players as they filled up their tanks and headed out of town, completing their day of community service in Lansing. It's not known why the Pacers chose Sankofa Shule Academy for their community service, but kids and parents who attended the event say they're happy they did