It’s becoming a tradition for the Rouse basketball program to give a little back using their talents.
The Raiders hosted the 4th annual basketball clinic for the Leander Lazers, the Special Olympics program for Leander ISD ranging from age 8 to age 20.
Saturday saw 45 athletes attend, the largest turnout since the clinic’s inception.
“We get to play almost every day and the least we can do is help them play and learn and have fun,” Rouse senior guard Keaton Brown said. “It’s fun watching the kids have fun. Once they loosen up a little bit, they start joking around with us and it’s really cool. I look forward to it every year.”
Rouse basketball players worked on skills, including passing and working in half court sets for about an hour before ending the sessions with scrimmages separated by age and skill level.
It began four years ago as a community service project for the boys’ basketball program. The event is also the beginning of the Lazers’ competitive season, which ends with an area tournament in San Marcos in February.
“This event is great for all,” Rouse boys’ basketball coach Shane Krause said. “For my players, it is a day of serving others and there is no room for selfishness.”
Basketball is just one way Special Education is emphasized.
The Leander ISD Special Olympic program is vast, with events and sports supported by the district going on during every season, like soccer and track in the spring and aquatics in the summer.
But at Rouse specifically, the importance of Special Education goes beyond the athletic field. The Amazing Raiders Club is a group with nearly 100 active months members that holds adapted events such as dances and parties.
There is also a group that takes coffee orders and deliver them to teachers.
“The students are involved a lot with it and we love it,” Brown said.