Gallaudet women

Gallaudet Women’s Basketball Team – Overcoming Adversity to Shine on the Court

For the Gallaudet women’s basketball team and their coach Kevin Cook, giving up is not an option. That was a lesson each of the women learned early on. These women are not just good at basketball….. they’re also deaf! So it has taken perseverance just for each of them to make their daily lives work. And a few of them have had it even harder due to personal tragedies and problems.

Kevin Cook has also had his share of problems. He began coaching the team knowing only a little sign language. Then he found out he had Parkinson’s disease, and that made his job even tougher. In addition, Kevin had a tragedy happen – his sister’s death. Between Kevin’s struggles and those of his team, it all added up to a slim chance of success on the basketball court.

But so far this season, that slim chance has been enough! The Gallaudet women’s basketball team has succeeded in a major way. This year the team has lost no games so far and, for the first time since 1999, has made it into the top 25 teams in Division III women’s college basketball! This video tells the team’s story.

Additional Resources:

  • Here’s the women’s basketball section of Gallaudet’s website.
  • Here’s a video that shows more of the Gallaudet women’s basketball team in action.

Topics for Discussion:

  • What would it be like to be deaf? What might be hard for you to do if you couldn’t hear?
  • The Gallaudet team and their coach overcame difficulty and found their way to success.  Have you ever overcome a difficulty in your life to find success?

Take Action:

  • Do you know someone who is deaf? Learn some sign language so you can communicate with them more easily!
  • Check out the sign language section of the Funbrain website for an easy way to get started learning sign language!

Teacher Features:

  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for elementary school students.
  • Here is a link to a Critical Reading Skills worksheet that you can use for middle school students.


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