Cesar, Emperor of Basketball!
“The game is on the line… time is running out… the ball is in the air, and…………”
In driveways and gymnasiums all across the country, young people hone their basketball skills while they repeat thoughts like that to themselves and imagine taking the big shot in a big game. For CoachArt student Cesar, his big moment with the clock ticking down came recently. But before we tell you how it ended, we should start with how it all began… a tiny foam basketball and a small hoop inside his therapist’s office.
“The therapist wanted my son to develop his motor skills, improve his posture, and increase his arm strength,” Cesar’s mom told CoachArt about his initial therapeutic experiences shooting a basketball.
But when he took his basketball skills out of the therapist’s office and onto the court, Cesar initially struggled. He had difficulty catching the ball and developing the coordination to dribble effectively. He kept working, though, and his mom soon noticed that Cesar was becoming more excited and interested in basketball and believes a big part of that was the support of the CoachArt coaches.
His siblings, Alexa and Octavio, have enjoyed playing alongside him as well. “Every time our Program Coordinator calls us, all of my children are excited because they know they can all participate together. CoachArt keeps my children motivated, active, and confident.”
Eventually Cesar’s family enrolled him in the Pico Rivera Adaptive Basketball program. And in June, his team the Pirates represented the city of Pico Rivera in the Summer Special Olympics in Southern California. “Never in my life would I have imagined him playing basketball in the Special Olympics!” his mom gushed.
And as for his big moment? You guessed it, Cesar made a game-winning shot to win one game 18-17. That win, and Cesar’s play, helped catapult the Pirates to a 3rd place finish in the Yellow division.
“Anyone that sees Cesar play, knows he is a natural.” says Program Coordinator, Mayra Murillo. And he also excels in the intangibles — Cesar told us his favorite thing about basketball is playing as a team. After recently graduating high school, his goal is to continue his education and playing basketball with CoachArt and Pico Park.
We’ll all be closely following your success, Cesar!
Mayra Murillo – Program Coordinator, Los Angeles