WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Blind students in South Florida are getting the chance to learn the game with Florida International University’s men’s basketball team.
Members of the FIU men’s basketball team assisted children, ages 5-12, from Miami Lighthouse for the Blind’s STAR Program, Wednesday. “They are strong,” said guard Eric Lockett. “Their disability and not being able to see, and still being able to have good spirits and a great attitude, is just amazing.”
Ray, a fifth-grader, shot and shot until he made not one, but three shots. He said he couldn’t have done it without his new friend, power forward Michael Kessens. “They go in back of me and they go to the left and then to the right,” Ray said. “Then, we shoot it, and that’s how it works.”
Kessens said he didn’t take it easy on his new teammate. “He told me he was just learning to dribble and walk at the same time,” said Kessens, “so I asked him to try it with me. He got some shots up, and he was making it.”
The power forward said it was challenging for Ray, but he overcame the obstacle.
For some of the children, playing basketball and other sports is nothing new. “We brought basketballs with bells in them, so they can use their auditory skills while they are playing and follow the sound of the ball,” said Lighthouse For The Blind spokesperson Krizia Perez. “During summer camp, we’ve played adaptive sports such as gold ball.”
After this experience, the children will return to school with some bragging rights about how they spent their winter vacations.
Students of all ages can take part in adaptive sports programs.
Others in adaptive sports programs have even been in the Junior Paralympics at the Orange Bowl.
For more information on the Miami Lighthouse of the Blind, follow this link: www.miamilighthouse.org.
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