As a young boy growing up in Toronto, Chris East dealt with bullying firsthand.
To this day, the Minot State University junior forward has a scar on the right side of his head from taking a punch as a 6-year-old. On Monday at Edison Elementary School, East - along with teammates Dominique McDonald, E.J. Williams and Matt Yale - spoke to two groups of elementary children about the dangers of bullying.
"It means a lot to me," East said. "Being a little kid when I was younger, I never had someone to talk to me, someone that was a mentor that played basketball."
Minot State University basketball players Matt Yale, Chris East and E.J. Williams speak to kids during an anti-bullying presentation at Edison Elementary School on Monday.
The four student-athletes told kids that doing the right things even as elementary school kids matters.
Yale told the kids to always follow the golden rule.
"A big thing for me is the golden rule," Yale said. "Don't treat other people like you wouldn't want to be treated and it's just kinda a way of life for us. You can't preach what you don't practice."
The student-athletes got to miss a portion of MSU's practice to speak, but said the message they were trying to convey was genuine.
"It's important to let the community know that we're here as more than a basketball team," Yale said. "We can communicate with these kids and really be role models for them. They look up to us a lot and it's important to give back what people have done for us in ways through organizations and things like this."