Last week, Knicks guard Tim Hardaway Jr threw out the first pitch at August 4′s Mets-Giants game at Citi Field. Before he did so, though, Hardaway Jr spoke with a group of kids about the importance of staying on the right track and earning an education. “I’m basically just encouraging them to make sure they stay on top of everything with hard work and dedication,” he told SLAM before the game. “You definitely want to be a role model to these kids, because when they play a sport and they see you out there playing and being successful, they want to do [what you do]. It’s not all about athletics—you have to be smart on and off the court, and that comes with school. You have to get your diploma in high school, go to college, be successful there, and that’s the gateway to achieving your goal. You just have to strive to be great.”

Check out some flicks of Hardaway Jr visiting Citi Field and tossing out the first pitch (which, we’re proud to report, he threw over the plate—no 50 Cent-like results here) in the gallery above.