BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) – Students at the Louisiana Key Academy had the chance to speak with a former NBA player Thursday.

Michael Kidd-Gillcrest, a former NBA player who played for the Dallas Mavericks, spoke with students because he had his own challenges to overcome. Kidd-Gillcrest said he stuttered when he was young, and he wanted to talk about his experiences. He said the goal is to persevere.

The public charter school supports and educates children with dyslexia.

“They’ve been told they’re lazy or they’re not smart, and they are,” Louisiana Key Academy Co-Founder and Board Chair Laura Cassidy said. “They just have to be identified and taught the right way, which is what we do. And then Michael echoes that because he’s been bullied because of his stutter. And so what they’re learning is about perseverance, overcoming obstacles. You have to set the record straight. Do you want to set the record straight?”

“I feel every single day of my speech, you know, but also fight and I get up and work at it and I’m humble,” Kidd-Gillcrest said. “So, yeah, that’s my message to these kids. Just fight.”

Learn more about the school here.