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“Now I can give back,” Thunder star launches foundation to help children learn to fish

OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City Thunder player is sharing some of his knowledge with kiddos across the state.

“I am so totes excited,” said Ashleigh Moody, a fourth grader at Stanley Hupfeld Academy.

Paul George learned to fish with his father, and it is now one of his favorite activities.

"Being with my father, that was our way of kind of playing backyard football. It was our chance to bond and be together," George said.

On Monday, the Thunder forward traded in the basketball for the fishing rod to teach inner city school children the sport of fishing.

"Just getting them interacting, play outside. You know, just get used to that socializing,” George said.

Monday also marked the launch of the Paul George Foundation, an initiative to teach children the importance of being active outdoors.

The Paul George Foundation contacted the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to partner with their current program 'Fishing in Schools.'

“We have the most difficult time reaching those inner city schools and, so, Paul George reaching out to us looking for this partnership opportunity is a perfect opportunity,” said J.D. Strong with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.

In all, 13 schools around the metro will take part in the program.

Stanley Hupfeld Academy fourth graders got the honor first - a school with 100 percent free or reduced lunch rates.

“Oh, he was so cool! I've never met a basketball player before, so it was really cool,” said Hector Noah, a fourth grader at Stanley Hupfeld Academy.

"It's just great that this is genuine. This is something that I've always done since [I was] a kid, and now I can give back and I'm at the level to give back,” George said.