(photo by Danny Moloshok of the New York Times)
I admit that I worry about Ronnie being the only Deaf player on his wheelchair basketball team. From the first practice, I wondered how Ronnie would understand what the coach was saying and how the other teammates would communicate with him. When he plays in his first tournament at the end of January, how will he hear the referee's whistle and know that play is to be stopped?
But you know what? Somehow it all works out.
Ronnie does some lip reading. Chip and I do some interpreting. And the other players have learned to use gestures, taps on Ronnie's back, and other such signals to let him know what to do. Plus, Ronnie only needs a few moments to observe a play to understand it.
So, I've tried to back off the worrying. And today that got easier when I found the following two articles about Michael Lizarraga, a forward for the Cal State-Northridge men's basketball team. And, as the Times article points out, Lizarraga is not the only one to benefit from his being a part of the team!
Deaf Player at Cal State Northridge Has a Real Feel for the Game
Cal State-Northridge forward is the only deaf player in Division I