Team gives player with physical disability chance to score

COMSTOCK PARK, Mich. (WOOD) — An 8th grade middle school basketball team decided to give the other team’s player with a physical limitation, a chance to score.

The game took place Wednesday night at Mill Creek Middle School in Comstock Park. The team was playing against Coopersville Middle School.

“The game started off normal and we played and everything and we ended up taking the lead,” said C.J. Phinney, a center for the team.

Coopersville Middle School then put in one of their players, B.J. Young. Young has Mitochondrial Disease, which limits him physically and causes him to lose energy quickly, according to his father, Duane Young.

“Since he didn’t get a lot of playing time, he probably won’t score a lot of points so we just gave him the opportunity to score,” said Owen Kittendorf, a point guard and shooting guard for Mill Creek.

The team stopped the clock and both teams passed the ball to B.J. until he scored.

“We were passing him the ball from rebounds and then he kept shooting and then he shot it and made it and we just wanted him to have fun,” said Brendan Siegrist, a point guard and shooting guard for the team.

The team’s coach, Robb Hurt, said it was the players’ decision.

“Everything that these guys did was all on their own. I’m real proud of them,” said Hurt.

“The decision from the whole team was not told to us by any kind of coach or anything. It was completely just at that moment choice for what we wanted to do and how we wanted that to end up,” said Phinney.

Duane Young told 24 Hour News 8 that there is another player, Jacob, on the Coopersville Middle team who also has a physical limitation. He said it has been great to see them both get the chance to play on the team.

The Mill Creek Middle School team that played Wednesday night has a 4-2 record and will play at home again Monday.

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