HARTLAND, Wisc. — Arrowhead High School in Hartland and Journey21 teamed up to host a basketball game for adults with developmental disabilities this weekend.
Journey21 is an organization that creates programs, outings and residential options for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Arrowhead Boys Basketball is combining with them this weekend for a hoops camp to remember.
Heidi Hamilton says they had to cap the camp enrollment at 30, which is double from last year. They could have had 40 or more.
"What we've seen, since this started back in July, (is) that our young adults are developing their confidence," Journey21 Co-Founder and President Sheila Frisinger said. "They're developing social skills and it's all organic, because they're interacting with their peers."
Arrowhead boys basketball head coach Craig Hasse says it is the best thing that his players and the staff have ever done.
"I've been coaching for 22 years. It was the best experience for everybody involved," Haase said. "The smiles on the faces of our players, the smiles on the faces of the adults from Journey21, the smiles on the faces from the staff spoke volumes to how it impacted everybody in such a positive way."
Arrowhead special education teacher Heidi Hamilton felt the same way.
"As a basketball coach, what more can you learn about life than through the sport of basketball?" Hamilton said. "Craig has ran camps. I've run camps. I thought, what a great opportunity for our adults to learn from the high school students and vice versa."
Each person involved in the camp have specific snapshots of the joy it provides the athletes.
"For me, it's announcing them in the starting lineup and going through the tunnel, high-fiving the varsity players," Hamilton says. "And being recognized as a member of a team and the smile and the pure joy that they have, I'll remember always."
"The player actually recognizing that the basketball boys are cheering for them," Frisinger says. "And the smile on their face and the self-confidence and the, you know, the satisfaction they have of being able to play."
"Everybody brings value, and everybody could get better," Haase says. "I have players I know learn both of those things."