GRADSA basketball league ends successful first season

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October 17 — The Green River Area Down Syndrome Association basketball league held its final game of the year on Saturday, ending a successful first season for the players.

GRADSA announced in March that it would form a Down Syndrome basketball league for the Green River District, which Thrash said was the first of its kind in the state.

The league was developed as a way to improve physical activity opportunities and inclusion for people with DS, according to executive director Tiffany Thrash, who said she did just that.

“It has been a great season. Our players have done incredible things. All expectations have been exceeded,” she said. “It has been good for them to be physically active, as it would be for anyone.”

She said it has also been a great opportunity for the players to show their skills not only to their family, but to the whole community as well.

“It’s been a great season and it’s a great way for community members to come and watch them because they did a phenomenal job. We had some great games so I feel great,” he said. she declared. “They like to go on stage, they like to show their abilities and that’s what they were able to do and they love it.”

Although the first season was a successful first attempt, Thrash said there may be more planning for the next season, including an official match schedule.

She said she expects more participation next season as well.

“When it’s the first time for something like that, the first go-around, you kind of take it as it comes,” she said. “You can’t plan everything, so next season we’ll have more formal planning, we’ll be more prepared. But I think overall what matters most is that our players are happy, that ‘they feel good what they’re doing and they’ve done it this season. “

Traci Eddings, mother of Clayton Eddings, 11, who plays in the GRADSA basketball league, said the league was a great way for her son to make friends and be part of a team.

“It was great to see all the kids coming together… and just seeing the camaraderie in them, being friends and improving, from the start until now and just feeling like part of a team. I think. that it’s really, really, really precious to them, ”she said.

She said Clayton was excited about all of his upcoming games and practices. On game day, she said he gets up early and practices outside and dribbles his ball around the house.

“He’s having a blast. He eats, drinks and sleeps,” she said. “It was really good. He did really well and I can’t wait to see what can come out of it.”

She said she hopes the league can eventually face other teams in the region.

Thrash said other DS organizations in the state have also expressed interest in starting their own basketball league, including one in Bowling Green, which could allow the GRADSA league to play against other teams in statewide in the coming seasons.

She said she expects two or three more teams to emerge by November.

Christie Netherton, cnetherton@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7360


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