INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – All month long, the Butler men’s basketball team has been hosting camps for kids. On Friday afternoon, they hosted a special group of campers.
Children with special needs got to leave their worries behind for an afternoon and learn the game with some of the best in college basketball.
“This one in particular is just a special one just because of the relationships you see the kids form with our players,” head coach LaVall Jordan said after camp. “They’re all awesome kids. You get to know them, get to know their names and they come back year after year and they remember us.”
“It’s a really special opportunity to kind of interact with kids we don’t usually get to interact with in normal camp.” Butler sophomore center Joey Brunk said after he finished a dribbling drill with a camper.
But the success of this unique camp isn’t confined to Butler. Bulldog chemistry professor Anne Wilson came up with the idea six years ago to pair physical therapy students with athletes to help teach students with special needs and the idea quickly spread to another Big East University.
“It’s the players that are smiling, the coaches that are smiling, the kids that are smiling and the parents that are smiling!” Wilson said Friday afternoon.
Creighton was the Big East school who picked up on the idea, hosting their first camp just this week.
“I’m delighted that Creighton said yes,” Wilson said. “All I did was ask!”
“I would hope that every regardless of conference in America would want to do this,” Brunk said. “Just to see the smile on everyone’s face.”
And the smiles were certainly visible on Friday and the program hopes to continue spreading the idea of this camp to other universities all over the country.