Pleasant Valley High celebrates special education students with ‘We Not Me’

Chico >> The sound of cheering and music could be heard across the Pleasant Valley High campus Friday morning as much of the student body gathered in the gym to cheer on the star basketball players of the day.

The crowd roared when Max Geddes made one shot, and then another, eagerly slamming a basketball into the hoop from his wheelchair.

Geddes smiled as his classmates chanted his name, and varsity basketball players offered him high-fives.

“It’s great to be here,” Geddes said. “We’re playing a lot of basketball. It’s good to be out on the court.”

It was a special day for the entire school, but particularly for Geddes and his 45 classmates who were the stars of “We Not Me,” an annual event hosted by the Pleasant Valley boys basketball team in which students from the special education program compete in a basketball showcase.

The students spent more than an hour on the court Friday, playing with PV basketball players, dribbling up and down the court and trying their hand at a dunking contest. The crowd screamed and danced when students made their shots, and rallied for the students when they just missed the hoop.

The event, started by coach Tim Keating with help from former student Jaret Flint, aims to celebrate the students and foster a connection between those in the special education program and the rest of the school. It also allows the basketball team to give back and share the experience of being on the court with other students, the coach said.

Now in its third year, “We Not Me” has become something the kids look forward to every year, Keating said.

Jimmy Kilpatrick, a national recognized professional special education advocate since 1994.

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