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'HIGHER GOALS,' FEATURES NBA STAR ISIAH THOMAS IN A NEW HALF-HOUR PUBLIC TELEVISION SPECIAL AIRING SUNDAY, OCT. 11, 1992 AT 5:30 P.M.

'HIGHER GOALS,' FEATURES NBA STAR ISIAH THOMAS IN A NEW HALF-HOUR PUBLIC
 TELEVISION SPECIAL AIRING SUNDAY, OCT. 11, 1992 AT 5:30 P.M. (ET)
 "The chance of you making it to the pros is like walking through the jungle and not being bitten by a mosquito."
 -- Isiah Thomas
 Detroit Pistons
 MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- "Higher Goals", a new half-hour public television special airing Sunday, Oct. 11 at 5:30 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, will offer young people who are eyeing professional sports, or other "dream" careers, a new perspective on the importance of first getting an education. Featuring NBA superstar Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons and Tim Meadows of "Saturday Night Live," the program is fast-paced entertainment blending comedy with an educational message, enhanced by a comprehensive educational outreach program and national music video competition.
 "Higher Goals" tells the real-life struggle of two young basketball players, a boy and a girl, William Gates and Kim Williams, as they attempt to balance their basketball dreams with the realities of graduating from high school and trying to go on to college. Through their stories, the program will show that the skills of practice and discipline, which stimulate success in sports and other activities, can also be applied to success in academics.
 An extensive "Higher Goals" outreach campaign, funded by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., will be supported by a nationwide mailing of video cassettes of the show along with an in-school curriculum to more than 4,000 inner-city schools. The curriculum guides will help teachers lead discussions and other activities to aid young people in understanding the distinction between "dreams," such as playing professional sports or becoming a star entertainer, and the reality of how one actually attains such dreams. "Higher Goals" will encourage students to get involved in school, to think about their own dreams, and how they can best set realistic goals to prepare for their future.
 In addition to the television special and curriculum, the "Higher Goals" project also included a national competition in which students had the unique opportunity to develop their own music videos on the subject of staying in school.
 "We believe our future as a society depends on being able to draw on a resource of individuals who have received a high quality education," commented Yale Gieszl, executive vice president, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. "Toyota recognizes the importance of returning a portion of what we earn to the community -- education is where we've chosen to place our focus."
 The special stars Isiah Thomas of the Detroit Pistons, who leads his own personal crusade to keep young people in school. Born in Chicago, the 31-year-old Thomas, a graduate of Indiana University, has had a remarkable career in professional sports, marked by the honor of being named captain to the Detroit Pistons in 1989 and 1990 NBA World Championship teams and selection to 11 straight NBA All-Star games.
 Actor/comedian Tim Meadows, born in Highland Park, Mich., and raised in Detroit, joined the cast of NBC's "Saturday Night Live," as a featured performer in February 1991. The 31-year-old Meadows attended Wayne State University in Detroit and was a member of Chicago's Second City improvisational comedy troupe.
 According to Sports Illustrated, each year 500,000 boys play high school basketball. Of the 14,000 who go on to play intercollegiate ball, fewer than 60 ever play even one season in the NBA. Despite these bleak odds, thousands of youths -- many of them black -- cherish the dream of making a fast break out of the ghetto, not through an education, but through the elusive dream of a professional basketball career.
 "Higher Goals" is a co-production of Kartemquin Educational Films, Chicago and KTCA-TV, St. Paul/Minneapolis; Steve James, Peter Gilbert and Fred Marx, producers; Fred Marx and Steve James, directors; Gordon Quinn and Catherine Allan, executive producers.
 "Higher Goals" is made possible by a major grant from Toyota, with additional funding from the Minnesota Timberwolves Foundation, AT&T, Woods Charitable Trust and John Rogers.
 -0- 09/09/92
 /CONTACT: Pamela Johnson or Alan Cohen of Serino Coyne, 212-626-2733, or Georgia Gould of KTCA-TV, 612-222-1717/ CO: KTCA-TV ST: Minnesota IN: SU:


AL -- MNFNS001 -- 7315 09/09/92 07:33 EDT
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Date:Sep 9, 1992
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