The Rouse High School gymnasium was abuzz with excitement Saturday, Jan. 11, with the fifth annual Leander Lazers basketball clinic. Hosted by RHS boys and girls basketball players, the event featuring growing LISD’s Special Olympics delegation, with 50 Lazers learning new skills from their peers.

Athletes compete in individual skills, team skills, 3-on-3 half-court play and full-court traditional basketball. A fun way to get the season started, the clinic also allows coaches the opportunity to assess the skill levels of the athletes. In addition, this clinic provides students at Rouse the chance to serve their community and learn leadership skills. 

“My favorite part of being part of this clinic is seeing how happy we make them, communicating with them and giving them someone to look up to,” RHS sophomore Mekai Coleman said.

Families and friends of the athletes were there to cheer on their kids as they practiced different skills and techniques with their player-coaches. 

“I love how the teams practice skills and make it a community event, how they all work together,” said Matt Smith, father of one of the Lazers players.

“I love to make baskets with my friends!” said Rosie, a Lazers player who echoed a common refrain among her teammates, who enjoy playing a variety of sports together over the course of the athletic season each year.

To be part of the Leander Lazers, athletes must be LISD students and range in age from 8-22, which is the competition age for youth Special Olympics. Program director Ryan Gough and her team of Adapted Physical Education teachers serve as coaches for each sport with the help of many district and community volunteers. Programs run all year, giving athletes a chance to be active, learn, develop skills and have fun. For more information, please go to