Hoops Stars owner to hold basketball class for children with special needs

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY Pa. (WTAJ) – Whether its shooting hoops in the driveway or playing a game of HORSE during P.E., basketball should be a sport that everyone can enjoy, and one coach is on a mission to make sure of it.

From 6-6:45 p.m. on Sept. 24 at Park Forest Baptist Church, owner and director of Hoop Stars Dan Mckenna will be holding a free demo ‘Super Stars’ basketball class for children with special needs and disabilities.

With an autistic child of his own, Mckenna’s hope is to be the change in his area, by providing a safe environment and more opportunities for what he calls an underserved community.

“It’s giving them a chance, you know it can be somewhat of an isolated life and that’s wrong. So maybe kids make friends out of it, parents make friends out of it…you can share stories of what you’re dealing with at home, struggles and challenges and maybe end up helping each other out. You think you’re alone sometimes in this journey but you aren’t. You just have to find other people that are going along the same paths,” shared Mckenna.

Playing basketball at Penn State from 1990-1994 and coaching for the past 25 years, Mckenna says the sport is truly his passion.

“It’s just been something I really enjoy I mean you get to start kids at the age of 3 and hopefully they end up falling in love with the game like I did. Typically at 3 where we start it’s some percentage basketball, most of it is just running around being silly, having fun, but I can honestly say I really love what I do,” said Mckenna smiling. 

While Mckenna says registration is already closed for his first trial class, he says he’s hoping to make it a regular basis activity.

“I’m going to go off feedback from parents but if this grows into something bigger and better, that’s a good problem to have and we’ll go from there with it,” said Mckenna.

If interested or have any questions about Hoop Stars, you can contact Coach Dan at hoopstarspa@gmail.com.

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