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Little Rock basketball players winning both on and off the court

LR-Central has a history of winning championships. It's no different for James Toney, and Kwame and Annor Boateng, who are excelling both on and off the court.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — This time of the year is a busy one for the basketball team at Little Rock Central High School. 

All the players are giving their all each time they touch the floor, but three members of team are being recognized for big wins off the court too.

"These kids came here because they're elite academic students and that's something they wanted to be a part of," Head Basketball Coach Brian Ross said. 

When you take a look at the rafters at Central, you'll see a history of winning championships.

"I went in there, I was pretty confident myself because I've done it before," Central senior Kwame Boateng said.

This time we're not talking about a win on the court or the banners that sit in the rafters – we're talking about another type of win--this one was at science fair.

Kwame, along with his brother Annor who's a sophomore, and freshman James Toney, are all winning championships thanks to their schoolwork.

"My project was 'Let's get Bouncy,'" Toney said. "It was about basketball, I was trying to see what surface was best to bounce a basketball on."

The three swept the competition at the school science fair, with Kwame taking home 1st place for building a fire fighting robot – pulling from his own experiences as a kid.

"My house caught on fire and luckily no one was home," he said. "But you know, I wanted to help the firefighters, and think of a way to help them."

Annor took home third after he built an app to help students study for the ACT.

"Feels like with science that you can basically do whatever you want," he said. "There's really no limitations to it."

And Toney took second for his study of basketball.

The three are student-athletes, and Coach Ross said they exemplify both parts of that title.

"The kids, they're not just passionate about sports, they're passionate about other things in their lives too which is really the goal here," he said. "We want them to be all-around people, and these guys are great examples of that."

Even as a sophomore, Annor agrees– he's not just defined as a student, an athlete, or any sort of label that people may try to place on them. 

"I feel like anything's possible now, especially winning the science fair," he said. "It shows our capabilities and what we can do, and basically gives us more confidence to push on."

These guys aren't letting the win go to their heads either, hard work just epitomizes who they are – and they've got a message for others too.

"If you put in the work, you don't have to worry about anything else," Toney said. "Just know that you can trust in your process and the work's just gonna show in the end."

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