BENNETTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - If you tune into NBC's new TV show Parks and Recreation, you might recognize cast member Aziz Ansari. That name was heard often in the halls of Marlboro Academy on Thursday.
Aziz Ansari, who plays Tom Haverford on the show, grew up in Bennettsville and attended Marlboro Academy for many years. Teachers of his still teach to this day and say they are so excited to see Ansari doing so well, and not to mention on a TV show.
"It's very hard to wrap your mind around the fact one of your former students is now a TV personality," former teacher Debbie Leslie said.
Leslie notes she wasn't just his teacher, but his tennis coach too. Some of her fondest memories are from the courts.
"His desire to win," she remembered. "He was always 100 percent into it."
"I'm proud of him," added former math teacher May Hamilton.
Hamilton recalls Ansari as a very smart, creative, competitive, ambitious and self motivated student. She says she has fond memories of her time teaching Ansari and that he always wanted a challenge.
Both teachers say they never expected to see Ansari become a comedian, but say they knew he would succeed at whatever path he chose.
"I knew he'd be famous. I wouldn't have guessed a comedian. I know he's got the ability to do whatever he wants to," said Hamilton.
The teachers say Ansari is proof that anyone can go from a small school in a small town to a big business in a big city.
Posted by Jeremy Turnage