The Lennox High School boys’ basketball team awarded a letterman’s jacket to their senior team manager during senior night.
Brady Fischer, a senior with Down syndrome, started helping out the team during home games last season. Head coach Paul McVey said as a senior, McVey increased Fischer’s responsibilities and has him come to all of the games.
McVey said Fischer got started with basketball in Lennox when he came to a basketball clinic a few years ago. Assistant coach Mike Oltmanns suggested to McVey that Fischer might be a great asset to the team.
“I worked with Brady from elementary through high school. He has always enjoyed basketball,” Oltmanns said. “It’s the best thing that ever happened. The athletes really look out for him.”
McVey said they increased Fischer’s responsibilities since he did such a great job his first year helping with the team. Fischer’s duties include giving McVey the dry erase board at timeouts, washing towels, playing music and giving speeches.
“We always stress the little things and the little things make you really good,” McVey said. “The little things are what hopefully get you to a championship level.”
Fischer said he likes hanging out with the guys on the team and shooting hoops. He said it is fun to help with the basketball team and it is cool to ride the bus to away games.
The captains and sophomore Braedon Wallenstein agree that it is cool to have Fischer as part of the team. Wallenstein came up with the idea of awarding Fischer with the letterman’s jacket.
“He’s always encouraging us and giving us high fives in the huddle. It’s fun. He leads us out for our games,” Wallenstein said.
The boys especially love it when Fischer gives his halftime and post-game speeches. Senior Austin Weischedel said Fischer is always uplifting and his speeches help encourage the team.
“He lifts the mood up and makes everything better even when times are tough so it’s just fun to have somebody like that around,” Weischedel said.
Junior Jacob Hinker said it has been nice to see how much Fischer has learned about basketball and that shows in his speeches to the team.
“I think the best part about having him on the team is just seeing how much he’s grown with basketball. He picks up a lot of things that happen during the game so he’s been learning a lot and he gets really fired up about what everything’s about,” Hinker said. “He went from last year not saying a whole lot to this year he just really loves to talk to us and just engage in conversation.”
Fischer’s mother, Cindy, said that he loves the kids and likes to see others happy. She said they enjoy him at home and is glad to know that he is liked at school. Login to read the full article.