Falcon Cove Middle School seventh grader Noah R. is a superstar both on and off the basketball court. The Supported Varying Exceptionalities (SVE) student was invited to join the boys basketball team this year and ever since he has been teaching his teammates a lesson in sportsmanship and showmanship.
Coach Hoopes, the school’s athletic director, and Coach Johnson, the basketball coach, have Noah in their Physical Education classes and recognized his athletic ability and love for the game.
“I wanted him to play and be a part of our team,” shares Coach Hoopes. “Noah is a student athlete and we wanted him to be able to showcase his talents.”
Noah scored 16 points during the season, but says his favorite memory was when he scored a three-pointer. After each score, Noah performed one of his signature celebrations, inspired by his favorite NBA players.
“Whether it was his salsa dance, shoulder shimmy, or just his huge smile, Noah demonstrated what sports do for any child, which is create a sense of belonging and togetherness,” notes Coach Hoopes.
Noah says it was an awesome experience to be a part of the basketball team and proudly wore his number 15 jersey. “I learned that being on a team makes you feel good.”
He extended that sentiment to his teammates and opponents. “Noah was a great teammate during the games, making sure he was in every huddle and high-fiving or even putting his arm around a teammate to tell them ‘good job,’” states Coach Johnson. “As the opposing team would enter our gym, Noah would greet each player and cheerleader with a high five or handshake.”
Noah’s mother says she is grateful her son was able to play on the school’s basketball team. “Falcon Cove has been an inclusive and welcoming environment for Noah. This experience has brought him a great sense of pride and feeling of belonging. Following his first game, Noah ran off the court and said, ‘Did you see me? I’m part of the team!’ We are so appreciative of this opportunity for Noah and thank everyone who made it possible.”
Coach Hoopes says it was a pleasure to have Noah on the team. “We are so proud of Noah! It’s not easy to put yourself out there on a court in front of people missing and making baskets. He was just so happy to be able to play, be with his teammates, and of course celebrate with his signature dances.”