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South Bay basketball program changing the lives of local children with special needs



TORRANCE, Calif. (KABC) — Local basketball coach Miguel Ortiz is making sure all children have the opportunity to play and enjoy the game. He launched a program at El Camino College in Torrance designed for kids with special needs. It’s a noble journey, teaching special needs students – and one that is completely fulfilling.

“This is our third annual, ‘Nothing is Impossible’ free basketball clinic for children with special needs,” said Ortiz. “It’s just our clinic for the children to come out, be seen, be heard, and know that they are loved. And for the parents to come out and feel appreciated and the kids to really just to come out for two hours get to play basketball like they see on TV like they see their friends do.”

Parents are overjoyed watching their children “hoop it up.”

“It gives hope to a child or any kid that they can do anything. You can play ball.. just the smiles getting out there. It’s just hope,” said Scott Philp, a parent participating in the clinic with his son, Maverick.

Volunteer coaches are impressed by the passion special needs hoopsters show on the court.

“Two years ago, Miguel got a new opportunity to be able to coach kids with special needs. So we thought it was a great opportunity and we took it. The first day we had it. It was a success,” said Dylan Peiris, a volunteer.

“When joy is brought to them, it helps us a lot because like he knows that we’re doing our job correctly,” said Cory Lee, a fellow volunteer.

Ortiz has even bigger plans for future.

“We just made a huge announcement that starting in January, we will actually be running our first ever special needs league that we’re really excited to kick out,” he said.

MORE: SoCal special-needs student inspires others on basketball court

Hamilton High School senior Kayley Suen has become an inspiration to others by her performance on the basketball court.

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