Family gets creative with non-verbal brother by their side as their Hoopfest opponent is a no-show
SPOKANE, Wash. — The world’s largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament featured a 4-on-4 game Sunday.
“We had our consolation game today at 11, but the opposing team didn’t show up,” said John Driver, who played in this year’s tournament. “So we asked the court monitor if it was okay if our brothers and friends just play a pickup game, do a little four on four.”
For years, John and his brothers and sisters have been bound together by their love — for basketball, each other and for one teammate in particular.
“He’s been our number one fan while we’ve been out here playing yesterday and today, so it’s just great to have him along,” said John of his 19-year-old brother Luke.
Luke has down syndrome and he’s non-verbal, but when he’s playing basketball with his brothers, that all fades away.
“He understands 100%, he just can’t talk,” his brother Matt said. “He’s got just as good of a 3-point shot as the rest of us.”
Luke knocked down shot after shot in his Damian Lillard jersey Sunday, with his family cheering him on every step of the way.
“Basketball, you know, it’s very dear to his heart,” John said. “Sports is a big part of our family and especially Luke. It’s really where he expresses himself and really fits in through sports.”
When you consider Luke wouldn’t have had the chance to play on a Hoopfest court if it weren’t for the team that didn’t show, it makes this pickup game all the more special.
“It was a great way to finish off the weekend,” John said. “We got Luke involved, he made some great buckets. He was really excited to play with us so I think it turned out for the better.”
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