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Piston Jonas Jerebko Reads to Students at University Hills

The students received a special guest reading by the athlete by participating in the "Michigan Reads" campaign.

This afternoon, two third-grade classes from in Rochester Hills filed into the school's media center for a book reading.

There was nothing out of the ordinary, except for one thing: Instead of a teacher, it was Detroit Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko cracking the cover of John Lithgow's The Remarkable Farkle Mcbride to read to the students.

It is the second year the Detroit Pistons have partnered with Michigan Reads to present the "Michigan Reads" campaign, which encourages kids to read instead of playing video games or watching television.

"Reading, obviously, is very important," said Pistons community relations assistant Lester Booker Jr. "There was a ticket incentive, so if they read a certain number of books, they would log onto the Michigan Reads website.

"After five books read, they would receive a Pistons ticket. The school with the most people who made a profile got the appearance with Jonas Jerebko."

"It was actually very easy," third-grade teacher Anne Conniff said. "Getting the email saying we were chosen to have this special guest reader was a wonderful surprise."

The students, several of whom sported Pistons jerseys, listened attentively to Jerebko, who sat in a large rocking chair that easily fit his 6-foot-10-inch frame.

After the story, the students questioned Jerebko, asking how long he's played for the Pistons, where he grew up, when he started playing basketball and what his favorite dessert is (it's brownies, by the way).

"I remember when I was in school – in third grade or fourth grade – when they got a sports star coming in, and we'd be excited for the whole day," Jerebko said in an interview with Patch after the event. "It's just fun to come out and see the kids and just see the smiles on their faces."

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