The Pleasant Valley boys basketball program came together Friday morning to put on a sporting event for students with special needs. Action News Now's Ross Field bring us the story.
Bethany Wallen finds joy everywhere.
"It is awesome because everybody's here and I love you grandma," said Wallen.
Part of her therapy for what's been diagnosed as Pervasive Developmental Disorder is playing basketball and making friends.
"Bethany loves these kids.. She loves her school, she loves the school spirit, she loves the band, these students and the athletes," said Moria Vinay, Bethany's mother.
Bethany is one of more than thirty special needs students who are participating in We Not Me, an event put on by Pleasant Valley High School that uses basketball to improve physical skills and socialization.
"Everyone gets to be involved and the kids love that interaction and the acceptance from others and that's what it's about," added Vinay.
"It is the greatest thing to see him (Addison) have that smile on his face and to have that high school experience that most kids have," said Chris Jarolin.
"We won 26-45. Joseph did a buzzer beater for us and we got excited. Walker did good, Brenden, my team just had a whole bunch of fun," said Addison Jarolin.
Their volunteers are high school players that act as coaches.
"It looks like it's Christmas, they're all just really happy," said Jake Rick.
"There's no other feeling like it, it's crazy," added Jarin Polander.
And on this court, victory is measured in self-esteem.
"Tt's fun, I like it, I love it and nd I like to dab," said Roger Kucich.
"I was dribbling all the time believe me, I'm just a dribbler," said Brandon Eggers.
The event felt like a real game, complete with pregame introductions, packed stands, cheerleaders, the band, a referee and sideline interviews.
But, it's much more than a game. It's a way for everyone to come together.
"I'm glad that my daughter goes to a school where this is allowed," said Vinay.
"Go Vikings!" Bethany said.
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