WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — This week’s ‘Here’s to You Kid’ features a 12-year-old athlete.
Mason Chapman is blind, faces multiple health challenges, and has a love of basketball.
The Penn College of Technology campus in Williamsport just signed Mason as their newest member of the men’s basketball team. His dentist knew about his love for basketball and suggested a program called ‘Team Impact’ to his mom.
“I hope to take away the friendships that Mason’s gonna get to make, the experience of him getting to play on a basketball team, and just the love the community and the college has been giving him,” said Megan Rogers, Mason’s mom.
This experience is extra special for Mason because he has an extremely rare syndrome called Lenz Microphthalmia Syndrome that causes him to lose his sight.
“I think it’s a good experience for him and, like, I play basketball so I think it’s good for him that he can play basketball and for everyone to experience what he does with the blindfolded drill,” stated Chris Chapman, Mason’s brother.
In honor of Mason, his new teammates did some basketball drills blindfolded to get a sense of what it’s like for Mason on the court.
“It was definitely challenging. It was a lot harder than I thought it was gonna be. I thought, because I’ve been playing basketball for so long, that I was gonna be able to know where I was on the court better, but no, it was much harder than I thought it was,” described Gavin Barrett, Mason’s teammate on the Penn College of Technology Basketball Team.
This experience means the world to Mason and his family, but it means even more to the coach and the teammates.
“Having someone with the strength of character, and his heart and just the things he’s had to persevere and overcome in his life it puts everything into perspective and it just makes our team more appreciative, and just thankful that Mason’s here and that he makes us a better team by his presence,” explained Geoff Hensley, head men’s basketball coach at the Penn College of Technology Basketball Team.
“My biggest takeaway would probably be grateful for what I’m already gifted with. Not everyone is blessed with sight. We just take advantage of it because we were born with it,” stated Barrett.
The team also got their eyes checked, and one teammate discovered he has an eye condition.
Mason’s mom wants people to understand the importance of getting your eyes checked.
“Just remember to take care of your eyes. Vision is something that we often take for granted so it’s important to get regular eye checkups,” advised Rogers.
Mason has overcome so much in his life at such a young age and does not plan on letting anything slow him down. Here’s to you Mason!
Mason’s mom also has a self-published book called Meet Mason, to help kids understand other kids who are blind or have special needs.
If you have a kid 28/22 News should feature on Here’s To You Kid! Send in a nomination form online.