Mutual Admiration Evident at Kansas Women’s Hoops Clinic
Douglas County Special Olympics Official Homepage
LAWRENCE, Kansas – In one of his first official events on the floor of Allen Fieldhouse, new Kansas women’s basketball head coach Brandon Schneider and his squad welcomed some of their most loyal supporters as the Jayhawks welcomed nearly 50 Douglas County Special Olympians and their parents in a two-hour basketball clinic Thursday night.
Participants gathered for a group photo at the start of Thursday night’s clinic.
“Thank you for being such great fans,” Schneider said during his opening address, noting the Special Olympians’ reputation for being loud and supportive regular attendees at home games during the season had preceded them.
Just weeks into his new role, Schneider and the team continued what has become an annual highlight for many of the players. The clinic has been traditionally held during the winter holidays, but this year’s Big 12 Conference schedule, coupled with an extra busy season for Douglas County Special Olympics pushed the event to the last weeks of the KU academic year. The Jayhawks didn’t seem to mind a little break from prepping for finals.
“We were looking forward to this,” Jada Brown, a sophomore forward from Las Vegas, said. “This is actually a relief from workouts, school ending, all that. We get to come out here and show appreciation to a group of individuals who give us so much appreciation during the season. I know they’re busy and have stuff during the year, but they still make time for us, so being able to give back is super special to us.”
Thursday’s clinic opened with a group photo, along with a welcome and introductions from Schneider and the players. From there, participants were divided into four groups and rotated through stations highlighting various basketball skills, including form shooting and lay-ups, defense and rebounding, agility and passing, and around the world shooting.
After a short drink break, two groups alternated between a full five-on-five scrimmage and player-led tour of the women’s basketball locker room and facilities. The clinic closed with autographs and more pictures in the south concourse of Allen Fieldhouse.
“It’s always fun,” Brown said. “It’s a lot of the same kids every year, which makes it even more special because we create relationships with them. Every year when they come back, we look forward to it and making this fun for them.”
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