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Dupuis Visits Sloan Elementary School

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins

Second-grader Shannon Bassett is the hands-down winner of Show-and-Tell this year. After all, the other students can’t compete with Bassett, who brought a Pittsburgh Penguin player to school.

Wednesday morning, Penguins winger Pascal Dupuis accompanied Bassett, 9, to Sloan Elementary School in Murrysville. Dupuis read to students, answered questions, signed autographs and posed for pictures.

“(My classmates) were like, oh my god you’re so lucky,” Bassett said, who rode with Dupuis in a limousine to school.

“We picked her up at her house and she was excited, it was fun to see,” Dupuis said. “She was a little nervous, shaking a little bit. She did a really good job.

“I have a second-grader myself so I felt right at home with her. I love it. I have four kids myself, I love being around kids. I love teaching them stuff or answering questions, just making them smile.”

Shannon Bassett asks Pascal Dupuis questions in front of her second-grade class

The day began at Bassett’s home. Shannon – along with her parents, two sisters and two grandparents – welcomed Dupuis in the early morning. The Pens forward gave Shannon her own No. 1 jersey with her name on the back. He chatted with the family and posed for pictures.

Shannon and her mother, Christen, then road in a limousine with Dupuis to Sloan Elementary School, which Shannon said was the best part of her day.

Dupuis and Shannon sat in front of her second-grade class. Shannon and her classmates asked Dupuis questions ranging from why he wears No. 9 (his son was born on Feb. 9), who is the biggest team prankster (he wears a mask and No. 29), and if he’s glad the Flyers lost (Yes).

“Everybody tried to peak out their classroom door to get a peak of Iceburgh, or Shannon or myself,” Dupuis joked.

Dupuis then read to a crowd of students in the gym. The story was about a young hockey player named Shannon Bassett who was a late addition to the Pens team and became the hero of their game.

“Me, a French-speaking guy, reading a story for the kids was a little bit different,” Dupuis said, “but it was fun.”

Dupuis’ appearance was part of a contest through the Penguins and Verizon called “Show and Tell with the NHL.” Shannon was the big winner.

“I saw a blurb on the Penguins Facebook page about taking a player to school,” Shannon’s mother Christen said. “I thought that was cool so I put Shannon’s name in there never thinking (she would win). Her name got pulled and I got the phone call. When they told me I thought it was a joke.”

And after the day was over, Shannon couldn’t stop smiling.

“It’s been amazing. It truly has,” Christen said. “Pascal Dupuis, what a gentleman, just a great guy. We’ll have memories forever and pictures. Truly I’m in awe. This is far more than I could have ever imagined.”

“It was a great morning,” Dupuis said. “I had a lot of fun doing it and I’m sure Shannon did too.”

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