Hampton middle schooler with cerebral palsy shoots hoops on specialized basket

HAMPTON, Va. - For the first time, 12-year-old Cynnia McCalman is taking a shot at something she has never done before - and she's doing it with a hoop made just for her.

Cynnia's P.E. teacher, Caitlin White, told News 3 it broke her heart when Cynnia got discouraged because she could not make one of the high baskets in the gym. White got on the phone with Home Depot, who had a custom hoop drawn out, made and delivered within a few weeks.

Cynnia McCalman

"It's my dream that everybody plays and our differences bring us together," said White.

The look on Cynnia's face when she was helped out of her wheelchair to make a basket was picture perfect. With a smile ear to ear, she told us her teacher, Ms. White, is one of her friends.

Cynnia's mom, Chiffon Bradshaw, said Cynnia was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a very young age and that she has used a wheelchair for the last five years.

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"I'm glad for this opportunity for Cynnia; this means a lot to me," said Bradshaw as her family watched Cynnia practice with her new hoop.

Shot after shot, Cynnia's friends cheered her on and hugged her once she was done testing her new hoop. White said, "Her friends love her and look out for her and sit with her at lunch. They really surround her and bring her strength and treat her just like she's like everybody else."

White plans to present the plans and materials list for the hoop to Hampton Public Schools, hoping other schools can add these adaptive systems to their gyms.

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