It Takes a Village: Sometimes, the “Village” is Made Up of Children Helping

Special to the Chronicle By Kristi Broadway, former Recreation Director

(Originally written in January 2011) I have just started my seventh Spurs DrugFree Basketball League and want to tell you a story. It’s one of the reasons why I continue this league. Brant Higgerson is a very special child. Brant’s grandmother, Suzanne is on our CRRC board. One day we were talking about the basketball league and she mentioned Brant and that he was autistic. What Suzanne didn’t know is that I have never turned down a child. See, Brant has an older brother and sister who are athletic, but Brant never had a sport to call his own. He does now!

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Friday night was our first two games of the seasons. They were both 11/12 year old boys. Those of you that have followed this league know that this age is very competitive. The first game went great. It was time for the second game. It was Brant’s first. His team knew about his special needs. Bennie Brownlee was coaching the other team. Bennie had Timmy last year, one of our boys that also was autistic. I knew Bennie and his team would take care of Brant ‘cuz that’s just the kind of coaches I have.

The game starts. Brant gets the ball, running full speed for the basket, no dribbling. He gets there and throws the ball straight up. Not even close to the basket but Brant doesn’t care ‘cuz he got to shoot a ball. He goes running to the stands and starts highfiving everyone; cutest darn thing I’ve ever seen. The parents loved him.

Getting toward the end of the game, out of nowhere one of Bennie’s boys (have I mentioned how competitive they are at this age?) handed Brant the ball.

He’s off! Running towards that basket, still no dribbling, with everybody in the whole gym holding their breath. The ball goes up, Brant made the basket.

If you heard a big roar on Friday night it was the sound of the rec center going crazy for a special boy named Brant Higgerson. That’s just the kind of league we are. Brant got to do his victory run and I’m sure there wasn’t a dry eye in the place. It’s just the kind of people we have here.

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