Basketball has done wonders for Ishpeming, Mich., high schooler Eric Dompierre, his father said.
“He gets a lot of his confidence from the fact that he gets in the games and he as a lot of support, not only from people here in Ishpeming, but people from all over the area are supportive of him,” Dean Dompierre told UpperMichiganSource.com.
Not long after Dompierre finished his junior season, earning UpperMichiganSource.com's Play of the Week honors along the way, Dompierre is fighting to be allowed to play as a senior.
Dompierre has Down syndrome and is already 19 years old as he finishes his junior year in school.
Unlike 23 states — including Oklahoma — Michigan does not have an exception to its age requirements for people like Eric.
If Dompierre were in Oklahoma, the outcome would be fairly clear with the proper documentation.
The first of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association's rules deals with age limitations.
A student reaching age 19 before Sept. 1 of a school year would not be eligible for competition in that season.
But there are several instances in which the OSSAA staff can grant a waiver to that requirement “upon demonstration of circumstances beyond the control of the student and the student's parents” that caused the student to be held back from starting school or advancing from one grade to the next.
The third of the exceptions is “substantial physical or mental disability.”