Colleton County Teen Doesn’t Let Life Challenges Get in Her Way

February 9, 2018, 9:23 am EST | Share:

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (MEGAN RIVERS, WTAT-TV) — Thursday night was senior night at Colleton County High School and it was all about Carlise Washington, a teen who has jumped through hoops her entire life, but it has never stopped her from making the game winning shot.

In front of a packed house, Carlise Washington geared up for her final game as a Cougar of Colleton County High School.

As she made her grand entrance, her fans cheered her on. Washington plays the game in style, she adds her own flavor; so much so, you may not notice the teen has down syndrome and is hearing impaired.

Dreams really do come true. A Colleton County teen who wanted to play high school basketball had her prayers answered.

“She always wanted to play the game of basketball; so I wanted to give her, her wishes – her senior year to play.” Coach Perry Smalls said.

Head Basketball Coach, Perry Smalls said Washington has been dedicated to perfecting her shot. “Carlise comes to P.E. class and that’s all she does is just play basketball and play basketball.”

In Thursday’s game, Washington put up the first and the last two boards. “We tipped the ball to her, she came down, shot twice, missed, got the third one, hit all net.”

The 19-year-old is an inspiration to her teammates. Shantasia Allen, one of the teams captains, said with each pass—Washington teaches them a new play. “This is a good experience because most teams, they don’t do stuff like this. It’s new to us and we like it.”

Her biggest cheerleader doesn’t use pom poms, she doesn’t know all the chants, but her cheers are the loudest. “She has shown me how important it is to treat them like any other child,” said Barbara Washington, Carlise’s mother.

She said Thursday night is the perfect ending to great basketball career. “I am ecstatic, I am so proud of her, I really am, I just thank God all the time for what he’s made her to be.”

The Lady Cougars didn’t win Thursday night’s game, but Carlise did score four points in the game. She has plans to attend the Board of Disabilities next year after graduation.