Peyton Siva visits, inspires students at St. Gabriel School


by Claudia Coffey

Posted on April 18, 2013 at 6:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 18 at 7:01 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It has been a whirlwind for Cardinal Peyton Siva. First the Cards won a National Championship, then he celebrates with his team at the KFC Yum! Center and now,  Siva is taking time to give back.

For the students at St. Gabriel School in Fern Creek, basketball royalty has arrived.

Move over Justin Bieber, Peyton Siva has entered the building and to young Cardinals fans, especially the girls, there is no bigger basketball star. Siva's message to the students wasn't just about basketball and winning, but something he says is much more important.

"Continue to put God first and stay focused on school. I wouldn't be here playing basketball, just to reiterate the important things in life. The importance of education," Siva said.

And that's the main reason that St. Gabriel Principal Pam Huelsman was thrilled that Siva could speak to the more than 800 students. She says it's all about his Christian attitude on the court.

"The idea of motivation and inspiration that he found through his prayers and through his beliefs, I think that's what we want to bring into this school, " Principal Pam Huelsman said.

And it was a message that came through loud and clear for these students

"I think he's a role model for kids our age and should definitely follow his views on compassion," 6th grader Zoey Peterson said.

"He says that everything comes from God and he is blessed to win a national championship and school is the most important thing you can do and have good grades," 8th Grader Andrew Engel said.

He also signed plenty of posters and autographs for the star struck audience. It was a day these students will not likely ever forget.

For me to come and speak to them, they are very excited . To motivate them for school and whatever I can do, " Siva said.

Roger Burkman,  from the 1980 Cardinal Championship team, was also there with Siva.