The Titan Women’s Basketball Team will always hold a special place in the heart of Malcolm.
Basketball is his favorite sport and he watches the games with an attentiveness that he does not give any other event.
And those ladies who play for the high school in Clemmons, NC have treated him with nothing but class. Before games, one of the players always makes it a ritual to come and “fist-bump” Malcolm as a way of “preparing” for battle. Malcolm always gives her a “Boom” right back which if you know Malcolm, he does not do that with many people.
It is commonly known with those familiar with Down Syndrome that kids like Malcolm are very visual in their learning. Consequently, he associates different places with different events or activities.
He knows the road to West Forsyth. It’s another home to him. He knows his way around and a lot of people recognize who he is which is very comforting.
But there are times when we go to away games and Malcolm does not recognize the place. It can set him ill at ease. That’s when I take him inside to see who is playing because he can recognize the uniforms and the players. And for some of those players who go out of their way to acknowledge him, he recognizes their faces and all is well.
Malcolm may not show it, but he does know if West wins. He picks up on a vibe, body language, and atmosphere. But then again, he always thinks of these ladies as winners.
Kid has a big heart.
But tonight, those ladies did not just win, they played with heart from beginning to end. They cheered for each other, communicated, worked hard for and with teammates, and won. 32 minutes of “We want it more than you do” and “This is our home court.”
There are people who get paid lots of money to play this game who could learn from this team how to really be a part of something bigger than themselves.
Remember that bit about kids with Down Syndrome needing to visualize and see things so they can learn?
Couldn’t have picked a better place tonight for Malcolm to see what happens when a team plays with heart.
Looking forward to the next game. Actually, we may have stayed there until the next game. Malcolm didn’t want to leave. Can’t blame him.
Simpson Gym is a good place to be.