De Soto High School Basketball Team Raises Autism Awareness

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DE SOTO, MO (KPLR)-- The De Soto High School girls' basketball team is playing a special game Tuesday night.

The players are raising awareness about autism in honor of their team manager.

The gymnasium is packed with basketball fans for the game against De Soto and Fredericktown.

It's a special game that's also about sportsmanship and friendship. Eighteen-year-old Brooke Kirby is practicing for a big game. She`s playing with De Soto High School girls’ basketball team.

Brooke, has the disorder, which affects the brain`s development of communication and social skills. But she doesn`t, let it slow her down.

Brooke is not only the team`s biggest cheerleader and motivator, she`s also team manager.

Remembering names is hard for Brooke. So she makes it easy and calls everybody a nickname she came up with while watching television.

There are flyers about the game against Fredericktown posted throughout the high school.

Students and teachers are wearing t-shirts with Brooke`s favorite line printed on back and she has a locker with her name on it and a special jersey to wear during the game, which she borrowed from a teammate.

Brooke is an inspiration for everyone at De Soto, especially the basketball players. They love her, and she loves them.

Folks say De Soto goes out of its way to make sure all of its students feel welcome and participate in activities. In fact, the girls’ basketball team is honoring another specials needs student next week on senior night.

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