Henderson County Special Needs Baseball, which has attracted more than 100 handicapped children and adults to games at Jackson Park, is adding a basketball season complete with cheerleaders next month.
Donnie Jones, who founded Special Needs Baseball in 2011 with his brother, the late Chat Jones, started talking with friends and organizers about a special needs basketball season just last week. Since then he has landed sponsors, gotten permission to use a gym and lined up volunteer coaches.
"It'll be just like Special Needs Baseball," he said. Which means the games are open to children and adults with special needs at no charge. Players can sign up at Jones' Auto Detailing Shop at 1111 Asheville Highway, at Hope Academy at Mud Creek Baptist Church or at the Sports Cellar, 1018 Asheville Highway.
Jones said he is not sure how many players he will get for basketball.
"For Special Needs Baseball we had over a hundred," he said. "For this I'm expecting between 60 and 80. Of course I didn't expect baseball to be as big as it is either. I've already got a lot signed up, and this was just started Monday a week ago."
Basketball season will run Feb. 15 to April 12. Games start at 1 p.m. at the Hendersonville Elementary School gym. The first day, he said, players can sign up.
"The first day we're going to let them shoot and see which ones I can put on the same team together," he said.
As with Special Needs Baseball, volunteers will let children and adults play, no matter how profound their physical or mental disability.
"There's no cost, there's no limits," Jones said. "We'll find a way to make it work. There'll be some teams that will just be wheelchairs."
For more information or to help sponsor Special Needs sports call Donnie Jones at 828.606.5691.