JAMS — Shirley Compton is a loyal fan of the Los Angeles Lakers, but she hasn’t been able to attend a game since the purple and gold played at the Great Western Forum.

It’s been awhile, but on Friday Compton got a chance to check out her favorite team as it took on the Sacramento Kings, and she didn’t even have to pay.

Compton, an assistant principal at John Adams Middle School, was a special guest of the Lakers, honored at half-time as part of the organization’s “Educator and Student of the Month” program sponsored by Staples. Compton was nominated by parents at the school for her dedication to students.

“I’m very excited,” Compton said Friday. “I’m a huge Laker fan and have been since the ‘80s and have the shiny jacket to prove it.”

Compton, a third generation Santa Monican who attended local schools, took her father and hopes he falls back in love with her favorite squad. She said he was a die-hard fan but had a falling out when Shaquille O’Neal left for Miami. Apparently, he’s not a Kobe fan.

Compton, who has been honored by NASDAQ for a lesson plan she created on economics, said she was inspired to become a teacher by those educators she met while growing up in the city by the sea.

“I always knew I wanted to be a teacher,” she said. “As a kid I would always appoint myself to be the teacher’s assistant ever since pre-school.”

news@smdp.com

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