Dearborn special needs basketball game gives students a shot at their dream
April 27, 2023

All they wanted was a shot — a shot to team up, to be coached and to play the game they love.

But for students with special needs in Dearborn, Fordson High School PTA president Faye Nemer says they wanted to do it playing in a gym full of fans.

“Watching them from the sidelines and cheering them on, that in itself is extremely rewarding,” Nemer says.

And thanks to mothers like Mona Alaouie, co-founder of Blue Hands United, that basketball dream came true for students with special needs in Dearborn.

“Every year during Autism Awareness Month, we encourage all schools to participate and support Blue Hands United with different initiatives and this year the Fordson PTSI decided let’s do something different. We decided to incorporate a basketball game,” Alaouie says.

The game featured two teams, team Dearborn High School led by Abe Mashhour, Dearborn Public Schools director of Student Services and Athletics, and team Fordson High School led by Mohamed Baiz, who is a teacher and basketball coach.

While some may assume these particular students may have some on-the-court challenges, Masshour says he did not see any on Wednesday night.

“You can tell some of these guys, guys like Manaser have some good experience here. Alaa is shooting the ball great,” Mashhour says.

Baiz says he is happy to see the community come together for a good cause.

“I think it’s great for them to get out here and to get to do this and have fun and enjoy it,” Baiz says.

“We’re the champions. That’s right.”

In every game, only one team can walk away scoring more than the other. However, Alaouie says everyone walked away a winner.

All proceeds from Wednesday night’s event were donated to Blue Hands United in an effort to continue to support, advocate, and raise awareness for families affected by autism and, or other special needs.


By Ibrahim Samra | CBS Detroit