Manual Academy life skills students play in program's first ever - Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Manual Academy life skills students play in program's first ever basketball game

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These tiny fans are celebrating a unique match-up between two friendly teams. After a month of preparations, the manual Rams life skills students tipped off against Jamieson in the programs first ever basketball game. 

"You couldn't tell today," Manual coach, David Williams, said. "I kept yelling box, box, no one ran to the box, you know what I mean. Everyone just kind of ran everywhere." 

Things might not have gone exactly as they practiced, but the Rams got the big 'w' over Jamieson. But at the end of the day, it's all about the kids enjoying themselves and having some fun.

"It was fun," Manual basketball player, Jazmine Hopkins, said. "My first time coming to a game. My dad enjoyed it. I enjoyed it. Our coach helped us. It felt nice." 

"Whether we won or lost it was gonna be a huge success," Williams said. "You know, all the kids come out here and play in front of, these kids have never played in front of that many people in their lives. This is the highlight of some of their lives." 

The Manual band and cheerleaders came out to support each squad and get the packed gym rockin'. These are the students who learn together, in separate classrooms, who relish the chance to compete in front of fans. And after the final buzzer, the teams met at center court to take pictures and share hugs. 

"You know, the classroom has been a huge difference in the past month now," Williams said. "Guys that don't normally interact with each other, interact with each other. It's been really good." 


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