A few Elmhurst College basketball players teamed up with the non-profit Access Sports this season to coach basketball for kids and teenagers with disabilities.
After reaching out to Bluejays basketball coach John Baines for interest in the job, Dena Seidenfuss, the director of the local organization aiming to provide kids with disabilities access to team sports, hired five players to coach the teams every Sunday for seven weeks.
“Elmhurst players raised the bar for what Access Sports athletes could achieve,” said Seidenfuss. “They are committed to helping our athletes grow, learn, and have fun.”
Access Sports athletes have basketball practice for one hour every Sunday, which begins with an active warm-up of stretches like skipping, backpedaling, and bear crawling led by the EC players and York High School volunteers.
Then the coaches teach the athletes basketball skills and drills, that include dribbling, passing, rebounding, and shooting.
At the end, perhaps the favorite part for everyone, the teams scrimmage each other for the remainder of the practice.
“My favorite part is laughing with them and seeing the excitement they have for completing a task successfully, for example when they make a basket in a scrimmage,” said EC women’s basketball player Gina Offerman. “Their celebrations are priceless.”
Other Access Sports basketball coaches for the 2018-2019 season that are from EC are men’s basketball player Jay Militello, women’s basketball players Mia Riese, Maggie Grady, and Kourtney Schuetz, and men’s basketball assistant coach Peyton Wyatt.