Learning life lessons at Lake Hazel Middle School

Learning life lessons at Lake Hazel Middle School

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by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 15, 2013 at 11:26 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 15 at 11:32 PM

BOISE -- There's something special about the Lake Hazel Middle School girls basketball team. If you've been to a game, you'll see it right away. It's a sense of community and family and support for a player who has always wanted to play.

As the Lake Hazel Cherokees get ready to take on Lowell Scott, if you look closely, you'll spot Mikayla Wood. And just like any other player, she's nervous.

This is her first year playing basketball on a team. But she's been shooting basketball at home, ever since she could walk.

It's been an incredible season. Her Dad says he owes it, to Coach Mark Neser. Coach Neser says, "I think it's extremely important to include anyone who wants to come out and play."

And he does just that.

"I don't send her out there with a helper. Mikayla goes out there on her own."

Her teammates know they are a part of something special too, saying "It teaches me that anyone can do anything, really."

Coach Neser realizes Mikayla is doing a lot more here than just playing basketball. She's may not know it, but she's teaching life lessons about inclusion and acceptance, in her own way.

When she makes a basket, everyone cheers on both sides. The girls have rallied around her, the parents have rallied around her.  

For her dad, who is always watching from the stands, he says watching her finally get the chance to play has been incredible. And that it's something that brings out a lot of emotion. "It's just something she wanted to do really badly and we weren't sure she's be able to do it and Lake Hazel made it happen."
 

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