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Old Sat Nov 18, 2006, 10:48pm
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"Special player" - It was great!

Last Thursday had to fly solo for 7/8 boys. Partner was a no-show. No problem - 2 very easy games. 8th grade game is a blow out. In 4th quarter visitors sub in a tall lanky kid who would be considered "special ed" or "special needs." They feed the ball to him and he throws up a brick. Next time down the court they feed it to him again. He throws up a flatline shot that banks in. The kid and the crowd go wild. On the defensive end his team fouls. He lines up and you can tell his heart is beating 1000 beats per minute he is so excited. Teammates keep reminding him to stay out of the lane until it hits the rim. He goes up for rebound and must have hit end of his thumb on ball. Tells me his hand hurts and he has to go out. I send him to bench, but about two minutes later he's back in game. He's all smiles and all excited. Teammates keep working the ball to him. I'm thinking, I sure hope this kid gets to the FT line, when he gets whacked on a shot. He goes to the line. His heart is still beating about 1000 bpm. He dribbles about 5 times, breathes out real loudly, and puts up the first shot. It rims in. Both teams are cheering, both sets of cheerleaders are jumping up and down, and I know some people in the crowd have tears in their eyes. I just smiled real big. Second shot rims out. A few more trips up and down the court and the game ends. Even though it was a blow out, both sides are upbeat afterwards. Several fans walk by and say, "You did a heck of a job by yourslef out there tonight. And wasn't it great to see their special player get to play and score. Some nights really make you glad you were there!
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Old Sun Nov 19, 2006, 09:10am
Lighten up, Francis.
 
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Awesome story. Too bad I never get to see something like this.
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Old Sun Nov 19, 2006, 12:29pm
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Locally we have a player that is deaf, and she is a talented, contributing player as well.

She reads sign-language. The school provides this lady to pace the beach area and relay signs to the player of plays and coach instructions. I've had her (player and signer) twice and once we asked she roam across the floor as the bench area was tight.

During time outs she's signing like crazy with coach's instructions. I had one of my captains meeting's signed for her. i recall first time we were introduced she asked we blow our whistles to see if she could "detect them". No luck. Our hand signals improved dramatically that day.

Best part is the crowd - who wave their approval at her instead of cheers.

In utmost respect - can you imagine participating in a basketball game with no sound?

Delightful. What its all about.
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"Officiating does not build character. It reveal's it" - Ref Daddy
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Old Sun Nov 19, 2006, 01:36pm
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Your response is why I often ask about special situations. I have had a team twice this year who has a player who is almost deaf. She must be able to read lips pretty well, but I always made sure that she could see what the signal was and was clear with my signals and mechanics. You've got to really admire a kid who's not letting physical challenges stop them from playing. I also had a goalkeeper this fall who was completely deaf. When I signaled a corner kick he told me he didn't touch the ball. I had his coach let him know there was a flick off of one of his teammates and not him so he understood. You have to be flexible sometimes.
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Old Sun Nov 19, 2006, 02:46pm
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Thumbs up

I wish we could relate these types of stories to those jerks out there who criticize officiating and think we're just in it for the money and because we enjoy putting their kid down.
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Old Sun Nov 19, 2006, 08:22pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Padgett
I wish we could relate these types of stories to those jerks out there who criticize officiating and think we're just in it for the money and because we enjoy putting their kid down.
Padgett I know you're a softie, and just settle for putting kids down, but I want you to know that I'm not satisfied until I've actually taken a kid's scholarship away. At least, that's what some parents seem to think.
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Old Mon Nov 20, 2006, 10:52am
M.A.S.H.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainmaker
Padgett I know you're a softie, and just settle for putting kids down, but I want you to know that I'm not satisfied until I've actually taken a kid's scholarship away. At least, that's what some parents seem to think.
Juulie,

I hate to be the "one-upper." But, I'm not satisfied until I destroy the super highway that goes from the high school level directly to the NBA. Again, according to what some parents think.
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