Lifestyle & Human Interest

Basketball Team Walks Off Court Mid-Game After Cheerleader With Down Syndrome Is Bullied


The Lincoln Middle School basketball team was playing their last game of the season. The gym was packed.

Family and friends of the players filled the bleachers. All the cheerleaders chanted and smacked their pom-poms together in flashy, synchronized motions.

That is, all of them except one.

Desiree Andrews has Down syndrome and moves to the beat of her own drum. She encourages the team in her own, uniquely beautiful way.

During the very last game of the season, the unthinkable happened. Desiree was bullied by some students in the stands.

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Thankfully, as players Miles Rodriguez, Chase Vasquez and Scooter Terrien heard what was going on, they stepped in and made sure the bullies were put in their place.

Mid-game, they walked over to the bleachers and confronted them. The three even spoke with an adult to ensure the harsh words were put to a stop immediately.

“We were mad. We didn’t like that. We asked our sports director to talk to the people and tell them not to make fun of her,” said 14-year-old Rodriguez.

Thanks to the players, the bullying was stopped before their hurtful words wiped Desiree’s joyful smile from her face.

Cliff Andrews, Desiree’s father, thanked the boys at the end of the game through tears he just couldn’t keep back. Desiree described the boys’ actions as “sweet, kind, awesome, amazing.”

“It’s not fair when other people get treated wrong, because we’re all the same,” said Terrien. “We’re all created the same; God made us the same way.”

The incident has caused a lot of other positive outcomes at Lincoln.

The teachers have reported that they’ve noticed a tremendous increase in school spirit. More importantly, Desiree, who also goes by “D,” has made many new friends.

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The boys have affectionately begun to call their gymnasium “D’s House” and the name has stuck.

Lincoln’s sports director is currently in the process of having a banner made with the nick-name on it that will be displayed in their gym for years to come.

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