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If your child has a physical or developmental disability, finding opportunities for them to engage in sports can be challenging. However, a new basketball program in Charlotte, North Carolina is helping children with disabilities access adaptive sports in a safe and inclusive environment. In this blog post, we'll explore how the program works and the benefits it offers for children, specifically 17-year-old Sadie Absher.

What is the All-Star Adaptations Basketball Program?

The All-Star Adaptations Basketball Program is a nonprofit organization that offers weekly basketball practices and games for children with physical and developmental disabilities. The program is designed to help children with disabilities access adaptive sports and develop their athletic skills. 

“Definitely has opened a lot of doors for just opportunities and to be able to go to tournaments, just like my friends do, school friends and siblings,” Absher says while taking a break from practice.

 The program is open to children of all ages and skill levels, and the coaches work closely with each child to tailor the program to their individual needs.

How Does the Program Work?

The program provides a safe and inclusive environment for children to play sports, build confidence, and make friends. The coaches are experienced in working with children with disabilities, and they use adaptive equipment and techniques to help each child participate in the program. The program also offers opportunities for children to participate in tournaments and other events, which helps them develop their skills and build confidence.

When Sadie was three and a half, her spinal cord was attacked with the virus, transverse myelitis, paralyzing her from the waist down. 

“I did the surgery when I was in about third grade so that definitely helped me a lot with just my confidence, being as tall as other kids, and you know, being able to walk and have that be even with my left. And, you know, now having surgery again I hope it can do the same,” Absher said. This summer, Absher will have a second limb-lengthening surgery. 

Dr. Brian Scannell, OrthoCarolina pediatric surgeon specializing in these leg-lengthening implant surgeries, says the new technology has helped patient care and should improve long-term recoveries as it becomes more common.

The All-Star Adaptations Basketball Program offers many benefits for children with disabilities:

  1. Increased physical activity: Regular physical activity is essential for children's overall health and well-being. The program allows children with disabilities to engage in physical activity and develop their athletic skills.
  2. Improved social skills: Participating in the program helps children build social skills and make friends with children with similar challenges.
  3. Boosted self-confidence: Engaging in sports and physical activity can help children with disabilities feel more confident in their abilities and proud of their accomplishments.
  4. Enhanced motor skills: The program uses adaptive equipment and techniques to help children with disabilities develop their motor skills, which can improve their overall physical functioning.

Sadie loves playing on the Rollin' Hornets, "just the community of it and to be able to have people that understand you and get you around you." The All-Star Adaptations Basketball Program is a valuable resource for children with disabilities who want to engage in sports and physical activity. The program offers children a safe and inclusive environment to develop their skills, make friends, and build confidence. If you're interested in learning more about the program or getting involved, visit their website for more information. 

Read more about OrthoCarolina's involvement with the Rollin' Hornets team, here.

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