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Boy with Down Syndrome Who Can Hit 3-Pointers Not Allowed to Play Basketball

down syndrome, down's syndrome, disabled students, disabled athletes, Eric Dompierre

Dean and Eric Dompierre

Dean Dompierre, a Michigan dad, has started a petition on Change.org asking the Michigan High School Athletic Association to allow his son Eric to play football and basketball during his senior year of high school. Eric’s not being excluded because he’s disabled or doesn’t play well; on the contrary, there’s video below of Eric sinking a three-point shot one day during basketball practice, a sport he’s played his entire high school career. The MHSAA won’t allow Eric to play during his senior year because he’ll be one year too old.

According to Change.org, “Eric started school late because of his Down syndrome, and would turn 20 during his senior year — one year older than MHSAA rules allow.” Dean’s petition has already received over 71,000 signatures, urging the MHSAA to make an exception to the age rule for disabled athletes. Change.org says, “Twenty-three states … have altered statewide high school sporting rules to allow student athletes with disabilities the chance to play a full four years of high school sports. Dean Dompierre said he hopes that Michigan will change its rules.”

Dean says, “Eric is celebrated by his teammates, has support from students and faculty in his school, and draws a great deal of fulfillment from being able to play basketball and football. To deny my son the opportunity to finish out his senior year playing the sports that have shaped who he is today, and to deny him a chance to play with teammates he loves, seems contrary to what high school sports should be about.” What parent can’t agree with that? Check out Eric’s amazing turn at the net, below, then go sign Dean’s petition already, wouldya?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IocPUAbxh0Y[/youtube]

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