WEST BLOOMFIELD (WWJ) – Kids with special needs often end up on the sidelines when it comes to organized sports, but a metro Detroit non-profit is working to change that.

Friendship Circle in West Bloomfield is joining forces with I-9 Inclusion Sports, to create a first of its kind basketball league, with teams made up of 70% typically-abled players and 30% children with special needs reports WWJ Health Reporter Sean Lee.

Friendship Circle Director Bassie Shemtov says both groups of kids get a lot from programs like these.

“Kids with special needs have a lot to offer us, it’s not just about us being kind to them – they are going to be teaching our typically developing kids things that they wish they would know already,” said Shemtov.

I-9 is designed for kids who want to play sports but at a less competitive level.

“So when we finally give them this opportunity – they are shining and the parents are blown away, in tears, so happy that their child is given the opportunity – where before the doors were closed,” she said.

The league starts February 2, will have weekly games through March 30th, and is recruiting kids ages 4 to 13.

“Typically developing kids when they are put together with our kids become different people – they are just not focused as much on the materialist world rather than what’s on the inside and how cool this person really is,” said Shemtov.

The league starts February 2, will have weekly games through March 30th, and is recruiting kids ages 4 to 13.

Find out more at the Friendship Circle.

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