WMBD/WYZZ-TV - NORMAL, Ill. -- At 6-9, 240 pounds, Jackie Carmichael is a big man on the basketball floor.
This week he was big in a different way.
"I love seeing he ittle kids' faces light up," said the Illinois State sophomore. "It's important for other people to see this, too. Athletes are out in the community, working with little kids, doing stuff for the community to make it better."
Carmichael is getting his second year at ISU off to a good start. Tuesday he made a trek to Prairieland Elementary School to talk to students about the importance of reading and staying in school.
"It's good to be able to do stuff for the community," said Carmichael. "Let people see different sides of you, not the serious side when you're on the basketball court."
Carmichael is serious. He was one of the top freshmen in the Missouri Valley last year when he played in all 33 games for the Redbirds
He averaged 6.8 points and 4.1 rebounds as a rookie but learned college life is about more than just hoops. He says he wants to make the extra effort this season to prove he's more than just a guy at school on a basketball scholarship.
It means volunteering and taking a bigger role in leadership on campus.
"It makes you realize how fortunate you are," said Carmichael. "And really not take the college experience for granted."