The North Star

Wednesday’s Special Olympics Basketball game positive and fun

Gus+Rue%2C+20%2C+goes+up+for+a+three-pointer+in+the+second+half+of+the+game+against+the+Eagles.
Gus Rue, 20, goes up for a three-pointer in the second half of the game against the Eagles.

Gus Rue, 20, goes up for a three-pointer in the second half of the game against the Eagles.

Photo by Sophie Bruce

Photo by Sophie Bruce

Gus Rue, 20, goes up for a three-pointer in the second half of the game against the Eagles.

Before the matchup this weekend that features both District 203 High Schools in a monstrous DVC battle, the two schools played a game on the same team. Naperville Central and Naperville North students represented Team 203 in the annual Special Olympics basketball game Wednesday night at Naperville North.

The Eagles of Team 204 were victorious, but the score was rendered meaningless by the players, coaches, and fans. The opportunity to play on the big stage loomed large on the minds of the players.

“This game is my favorite,” Naperville Central senior Advaith Kumar said. “I am glad I played again this year.”

During the contest, the home crowd erupted when Team 203 member Brandon Gray nailed a pair of three-point field goals on consecutive possessions. This was followed up immediately by a deep three-pointer from teammate Louis Pisani.

“My teammates gave me good passes,” Pisani said. “I hope to play again next year.”

The atmosphere in the gymnasium remained uniquely upbeat throughout the entire night, especially the scene on the court after the game concluded. Kumar echoed the words of Pisani after the game in the midst of the hectic scene full of fans, players, and coaches.

“This game gives us an opportunity that we love,” Kumar said. “This is the happiest time of our lives.”

The game featured a pair of ‘referees’ that both work as teachers at Naperville North. Clinton Hunter, sophomore basketball coach and gym teacher, worked alongside Matthew Hasse, special education teacher and assistant varsity basketball coach. Hasse volunteered for the position, wanting a close involvement with the event.

“It was an opportunity that I could not pass up,” Hasse said.

Special Olympics athletes enjoy participating regardless of the sport, and they consistently provide joy to fans.

“I am glad that I chose to be a part of this experience,” Hasse said. “It really puts the world into perspective.”

Parents and seniors on team District 203 stand during the Pledge of Allegiance.
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About the Contributors
Brant Bednarz, Sports Editor

Brant Bednarz is a senior at Naperville North High School and this is his second year on The North Star. He is an aspiring sports journalist/broadcaster who is passionate about politics, sports, and the Chicago Cubs. He broadcasts sporting events for The Cube with his friends Kirubel Mesfin and Martin Herz. He also enjoys writing with a distinct voice, especially in his opinion pieces.

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Sophie Bruce, Staff Writer

Sophie Bruce is a junior at Naperville North High School. This is her first year as a photographer for The North Star after taking several photography classes. She enjoys running on the NNHS girls’ cross country team, and in her free time she loves to hangout with friends or her yellow lab dog.

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Jacob de Waard, Multimedia Producer

Jacob de Waard is a senior at Naperville North High School and is the Multimedia Producer for The North Star and The NOW. Jacob was born in New Jersey and lived on three different continents before moving to Naperville. He is also an aspiring photojournalist and pizza connoisseur.

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