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Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

The news site of Hinsdale Central High School

Devils' Advocate

Special Olympics hosts Pack the Place night

Sam Wheeler
Student steals ball from opponent during match.

On Friday, Dec. 8, Hinsdale Central hosted the Special Olympics Pack the Place and senior night basketball game. The Red Devils hosted the D99 Hoops team, and the final score was 36-34.

The game honored Kathy Zhang and Ricky Luo, seniors, as well as a fellow senior student from D99. 

This is one of the first times that the game has been held on a Friday night. 

“In years past, the [Pack the Place] game has been on a Saturday,” said Kelly Watson, head coach and physical education teacher who has coached the Special Olympics team since she started working at Hinsdale Central 18 years ago.

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The game tipped off at 6 p.m., culminating in a last minute buzzer-beater to give the Red Devils a win.

Special Olympics basketball has been gaining traction at Central, and attendance was higher on Friday than it has been in years.

“Support from the community has been so awesome, and everybody loves coming to watch the kids play,” Watson said. “I think that that is so good for our athletes to see and for the parents to see how supportive of a community we have.”

The team practices with other Hinsdale Central basketball teams, including the girls and the boys varsity teams. They share spaces and cheer each other on at games.

As for the seniors, Zhang and Luo were both excited to play in the game. 

Kathy Zhang and Ricky Luo, seniors, share the court during the game. (Sam Wheeler)

“[My favorite part of games is] seeing the ball in the basket,” Zhang said. 

She also enjoys passing the ball at practices. Her favorite part of the school year was the Homecoming dance, and she is looking forward to the rest of her games this season. 

Luo’s favorite part of the school year was also the Homecoming dance where he and Zhang won Homecoming royalty. He has enjoyed playing basketball this year, and he says that his favorite part is playing with his friends. 

The Illinois Special Olympics committee has recently added a fall season of bocce ball in addition to the already existing track and basketball seasons. This means that there is a sport year-round, which Watson said provided structure for her athletes as well as giving their community and parents an opportunity to see their hard work.

The rest of the basketball season has a game every week, totaling nine more games. 

“We have a regional tournament in January,” Watson said. “It is for all of the teams in our region, and we always look forward to it.”

For more information on the team, click here

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About the Contributors
Finley Bisch
Finley Bisch, Writer
Hi! My name is Finley Bisch and I am a senior at Hinsdale Central! I’m a cheerleader, runner and a member of the Devils' Advocate (obviously)! When I’m not at school or practicing for a sport, I am with my friends, getting boba or shopping. I love football season and cheering for the Oregon Ducks (my mom’s alma mater). I love all things sports, no matter the season and so I write a lot of those stories. This is my first year taking the Journalism class and I am really looking forward to it! You can contact Finley at [email protected].
Sam Wheeler
Sam Wheeler, Photographer
Sam Wheeler, senior, is excited about joining the Devils' Advocate this year as a photographer. At central she is a part of Ecology Club, Peer Buddies and Special Olympics. Sam enjoys travelling and spending time with friends and family. You can contact Sam at [email protected].org.

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