Sports

Beamer coach, Alexander pen children's book

By CASEY OLSON

The Mirror

Jarrett Mentink doesn’t play for the Seattle Seahawks. But he does sign numerous autographs outside Qwest Field before every Seattle home football game.

The Todd Beamer boys basketball coach has been autographing copies of “Alexander the Great,” a children’s book that chronicles the academic and athletic successes of Seahawk running back Shaun Alexander.

“I always tell them I will sign it if they want, but it just makes it less valuable,” Mentink joked.

“Alexander the Great” is Mentink’s second foray into the children’s book business. His first, “Alley the Cat,” was released last year through his publishing company, Kids in the Clouds.

But it was Mentink’s wife that can take the credit for getting “Alexander the Great” off the ground. For the past few seasons Shaun Alexander would come into the Fox Sports Net studios in Bellevue every Monday for the “Shaun Alexander Show,” which happened to be hosted by Angie Mentink. As a gift for his first child, Heaven, she gave Alexander a copy of “Alley the Cat.”

“Shaun told her he had always wanted to have a children’s book that talks about his success,” Mentink said.

The author didn’t waste any time getting back to the Seahawk Pro Bowler. Just a few days passed before Mentink handed Alexander a rough draft of a story and the rest is history.

“We ended up partnering up on the project,” Mentink said.

“Alexander the Great,” shares a terrific moral lesson in rhyme, according to the Seattle Seahawks’ official Web site.

Tully’s Coffee Shops across Washington are carrying the book, as is the Seahawks Pro Shop at Qwest Field and children traveling on Alaska and Horizon airlines can also get a condensed, coloring version of the story on their flights. The books can also be purchased at kidsintheclouds.com.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Mentink said. “25 percent of the proceeds go to the (Shaun Alexander Foundation), which is set up to mentor kids so that they can one day be mentors in the community themselves. It is a pretty cool program.”

Alexander will sign copies of his book at the Seahawks Pro Shop on Monday from 7 to 8 p.m.

“Shaun has been really good about doing signings,” Mentink said.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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