In solidarity of their blind classmate, high school students kept silent so that she could hear her basketball shot.
A group of 2,000 students showed their support for a blind basketball player who attempted a free shot.
Juliana Hoogland, 17, attends Zeeland Public Schools in Michigan. She is a peer-to-peer participant in the school’s zLinks program.
The program competes in the Special Olympics Unified Sports, which is a “source of pride” for the school system, according to Dr. Brandi-Lyn Mendham, Superintendent of Zeeland Public Schools.
The generosity with which these high school students treated Juliana when she took a free throw inspired us. They went utterly silent so she could tap on the net to see where it was.
But the hush was short-lived as Juliana sunk the shot, causing the fans to roar. Karen Hoogland, her mother, expressed their pride at her accomplishment.
“Not just because two high schools were watching her,” Hoogland said, “but just to see the support from her peers being so unbelievably and respectfully quiet so she could hear the tapping, but then the cheers of encouragement and support from the proud student body,” Hoogland said.
Meanwhile, Juliana, aka “Jules,” was overjoyed after the shot, saying, “I didn’t believe I’d make it.” My objective is to educate people about the fact that blind individuals are more than simply that.”
Jules is breaking records for what blind individuals can accomplish, and he hopes that this film will inspire all those who are suffering difficulties. “I’m hoping this film will inspire others to keep trying regardless of their problems,” she says.
Juliana had put in “years” of hard training to obtain a perfect shot, according to the lead teacher for zLinks. “Seeing her hit that shot in front of 2,500 people was incredibly moving,” Nate VandeGutche said. “We were giddy with anticipation for her and her family. It was the perfect way to end what had been a fantastic day for all of us.”