April 18th, 2012
02:07 PM ET

Down syndrome student fights to keep playing sports

by Ted Rowlands, CNN

Ishpeming, MI (CNN) - After spending a Sunday afternoon with Eric Dompierre and his parents it's clear that they're extremely grateful that Eric has always been included.

Eric Dompierre has Down syndrome, but he's been welcome to play sports with other kids in Ishpeming Michigan since he was in elementary school.

"We didn't know how far he'd go, how many coaches would keep him on the team," says Dean Dompierre, Eric's father.

When he got to high school, Eric was invited to keep playing. Now he's on both the Ishpeming High School football and basketball teams. He attends every practice and works out with the other players and if it's appropriate he plays a few minutes at the end of the game.

During this season's basketball playoffs Eric brought the house down. The team after maintaining a nice lead put Eric in the game and he hit a three-point shot against rival Negaunee High School.

"I was on the left side behind the three-point line and they passed me the ball," Dompierre says smiling as he recounts the game. "I heard the fans, including my mom crying."

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  1. PH

    I am confused,. He is not being allowed to play beacuse he is TOO old not due to any health condition.

    April 20, 2012 at 8:38 am |