It’s hard not to feel for Eric Dompierre, his family and his teammates after hearing this story. Apparently Eric, who has down syndrome, loves basketball and has played some inspiring minutes for his Michigan high school team. But because Eric started school late (due to his disability), he turned 19 before graduating and is no longer eligible to play.
The video here, from FOX UP reporter Gabrielle DeLuca, tells Eric’s story, including his pretty sweet jump shot.
Rules are certainly rules, and no doubt this age rule exists to protect older kids from hurting and/or dominating younger ones. But for someone who obviously draws so much pleasure from the game — and who, when it comes down to it, probably won’t make that big a difference on a nightly basis — it’s hard to imagine why the Michigan High School Athletic Association can’t see the folly of upholding the rule without exception.
There’s a petition supporting Eric’s effort to change the rules, if you are interested.