Hubbard — Saturday’s charity basketball game between Hubbard High School and Potential Development High School was the brainchild of Hubbard sophomore Isabella Williams. Her cousin is on the autism spectrum and attends Potential Development PK-12 School in Youngstown.
The “Shoot for Change” took place in the Hubbard High School gymnasium, with a 50-50 raffle, t-shirt sales, concessions and, of course, a basketball game. Hubbard High School Cheerleaders and Potential Development Pep Club also attended.
Williams was inspired to create a charity event after learning that his cousin Christophe Rose didn’t have many games to play with the team all season.
“Potential development does a lot for my cousins, so this event is really special for me. We encourage them to play sports, attend school dances, and join clubs,” Williams said.
The idea evolved into an event where dozens of community members, many of whom were family members of the athletes, cheered for PDHS athletes and Hubbard High School student-athletes.
“They also work with students to obtain high school diplomas. It’s a great school to ensure that students with autism have a personalized education that meets their needs and prepares them for the future,” Williams said. said.
Since August, Williams has been organizing events and working to meet project requirements for community and career exploration classes. From recruiting Hubbard for his team to collecting his raffle baskets to joining the PDHS, Williams has done it all.
“It’s amazing what she’s done,” said Paul Garchar, CEO of Potential Development. He added that as a student, he could hardly make it from one class to the next, let alone organize her games for charity.
“This charity basketball game is a great opportunity to show the community how much our students enjoy extracurricular activities such as track and field and encouragement clubs. We want to thank Isabella Williams for organizing this wonderful event,” said Garchar.
It was coach Andy Chorey who brought the team together. He also works as his Potential Development teacher, tutoring students in math and reading comprehension.
“It’s been great to see the children’s skills improve and grow over time,” Chorey said.
Before stepping onto the floor for a game, he always tries to remind his students that the most important thing is to go out and do their best, but more importantly to have fun. increase.
“Playing basketball in our school gives children opportunities that they don’t get in a normal school environment. At our school, everyone can play,” Chorey said.
One of those students, Jamil Franklin, said he was nervous but excited to show off his point guard skills on the court, even though he hadn’t played in several years.
Shari Nesbitt, mother potential development player Isaiah Nesbitt was in the crowd to cheer on her son.
Admittedly, she was hesitant to let him on board.
“I wasn’t sure if it was something he could do, but three years ago one of his teachers told me he won almost every basket and loved the sport.” said Shari Nesbitt. “The coaches and school staff made it possible. His progress in speaking is to their credit.”
His mother said Isaiah didn’t just stop at basketball. Her son is also involved in track, bowling and swimming.
Garchar said the funds raised at the event will be used for the school’s sports programs and extracurricular activities.
“These kids learn differently, but we want them to have the same typical experience as other kids,” he said.
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