Trufant on hand to help Renton students

Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant was on hand to help about 60 Renton students in the Renton Police Department Youth Programs Hoop Shoot at Renton High School Thursday.

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“It starts with the youth,” Trufant said. “If you teach them the right things and give them some goals early it really makes a difference.”

The students competed in free-throw shooting contests to win prizes and trophies.

Along with Trufant, representatives from the Hazen state boys basketball team, the 2010 WNBA champions Seattle Storm and the Seahawks mascot Blitz helped at the event.

Trufant signed autographs, posed for pictures and helped hand out trophies.

“Being in Renton now, it’s a big deal to come out to some of the schools because they are our neighbors,” he said. “Anytime I can go out and put a smile on a kid’s face, I’m all for it.”

Trufant’s wife, Jessica, grew up in Renton and went to Renton High School.

Some of the participants were able to keep their focus better than others with a Seahawk around. Cascade Elementary student Olivia Carter, wasn’t interested in getting an autograph.

“I just want to win for my school,” the 11-year-old said. “I’ve been practicing a lot.”

Elementary school champions were Samuel Nehren (Tiffany Park Elementary), Vincent Bailey (Bryn Mawr), James Chen (Maplewood), Alice Gierek (Hazelwood), Dzana Vatrenjak (Talbot Hill), and Nya Hill (Benson Hill).

Middle school champions were Brandon Robinson (Dimmitt Middle School), Ryan Bush (McKnight), Calvin Huynh (McKnight), Maria Santiago (Dimmitt), Zian Bustamante (Nelson), and Paige Alloway (Nelsen).

The Return to Renton Benefit Car Show and Cruise-In helped to fund the event.