Building Better Minds


This basketball league focuses on ability, not disability

Posted at 6:30 AM, Apr 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-24 06:38:44-04

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. -- Exercise can provide significant benefits for kids in all developmental stages of life, but not all kids are able to play in a competitive sport. A program in Louisa County is aiming to change that and it's all thanks to Angela Comfort and her daughter Bray.

"She loves it.  Basketball is her favorite sport," Angela said.

Angela Comfort

Two years ago, Angela contacted the Louisa County Schools Athletic Director.

"(Bray’s) been wanting to play basketball on the official team for the school for a while.  So, it really means a lot to her to be out there.  And for us to see her play because we know she can play very well, so it means a lot,' she said.

Bray Comfort

A game in March included the Louisa Lions taking on the Orange Hornets. It was the first full exhibition game of a league for adaptive curriculum and special needs students.  Here, they focus on abilities, not disabilities.

“To see the crowd cheering them on by name, that's something," Director of Pupil Services Carla Alpern said.

"I wanted them to feel like real lions and they really felt like real lions.  And just to have the crowd cheering them on and be able to make a basket and have the music playing.  It was all just a great experience, the whole package."

Debra Thornhill was there to see her twin grandsons play.

"I had tears in my eyes because it was just amazing," Debra said. “To see how far they've come and how much they've accomplished."

To some this is just a basketball game.  To others, it's so much more.

“It makes her feel like she's just like the other kids who go to school," Angela said.