Deaf Students Gear Up for Basketball Tournament


STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Eleven deaf basketball teams descended upon Staunton today.

The Virginia School for the Deaf and the Blind is hosting a three-day girl's basketball tournament this week.

The 37th annual Mason-Dixon tournament started Thursday including teams from deaf schools ranging from Virginia to Florida.

The VSDB Cardinals played earlier this morning.

Some of the players said they get their motivation from Seattle Seahawks fullback, Derrick Coleman, who is the first legally deaf NFL offensive player.

"I'm totally inspired. It's finally a deaf person in the NFL. I mean, especially going to the Super Bowl? Wow," said Hannah Mills, who plays on the team.

VSDB played in the first game this morning and beat Louisiana, 50-32.

"We were on fire. We got started. We had great teamwork going on. We feel like we were on fire today. we feel like we played with a lot of heart," said Lurdes Benitz, who plays on the team

The team played again at 4 p.m. and beat South Carolina, 41-34.

The championship game will be Saturday at 8 p.m.


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