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Students at CRHS kick off school year with inspirational message from Kevin Atlas

(09/11/19) At nearly seven-feet-tall, Kevin Atlas commands attention, even when standing alone in front of 3,000-plus students and staff in the fieldhouse at Coon Rapids High School - Kevin Atlas speaks to students at CRHS on Sept. 6 Center for Biomedical Sciences and Engineering (CRHS).

At the first pep rally of the 2019-20 school year, students celebrated the beginning of a new year with rally cries and class tug-of-war competitions before hearing an emotional, yet inspiring message from Atlas. View photos of the event.

Atlas, who was born with one hand, shared his inspirational story about overcoming adversity and achieving success through determination. He was the first player missing a limb to play NCAA Division I basketball, before launching a professional career overseas, all while overcoming the early death of his father, a challenging home environment and a legion of critics while on his way to becoming one of the top high school basketball players in California.

Atlas shared his message with a mixture of humor and audience participation, delivering a strong message to students about self acceptance and of one another.

“If you can’t accept yourself, why would anyone else in the world accept you?,” Atlas asked a completely full but hushed fieldhouse at CRHS. He encouraged students to believe in themselves and appreciate others while creating an atmosphere of acceptance within their school.

Atlas spent the morning at CRHS visiting with administrators, guidance staff, head coaches and advisors before addressing the entire school.