High school student with Down syndrome scores at final home game of season


GLENDALE, Wis. — A special bond took to the basketball court at Nicolet High School on Friday evening at the final home game of the junior varsity season, WITI reports.

“Everyone calls me Coach T,” said Coach Terence Smith.

Smith knew Friday night’s game would be tough on many fronts. It was the final home game of the season, and one of his stars, #14, is not staying on the bench.

“He might not be able to ever do this again in his life, and there’s a lot of kids who want to do this and can’t,” Smith said.

Smith and Hunter Peterson developed a friendship that does not take note of its differences.

The two met in special education at Nicolet four years ago and realized they shared a love of basketball.

Hunter is in his third season, and this year will be his last.

“This is it. He’s my senior. He’s done. It’s all over,” Smith said.

And like any good friend, Smith knows just what Hunter needs.

“It’s more than basketball: it’s about life,” Smith said.

During the game, the crowd erupted when Hunter scored.

“It means a lot for him. He’ll remember this for the rest of his life,” Smith said.

Hunter is not just doing big things at the high school level.

He is also part of the Milwaukee Bucks’ “Hoop Troop.”

They engage with fans during games and do community outreach.

Hunter’s dad said his bond with Smith has impacted him in so many ways and will last far after he leaves the school.

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