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High school girls basketball: Judge, Union let Bulldog player with Prader-Willi syndrome shine on senior night

SHARE High school girls basketball: Judge, Union let Bulldog player with Prader-Willi syndrome shine on senior night

The final home game of Judge Memorial's girls basketball season included moments that were completely out of the ordinary.

They're moments that won't ever be forgotten by those who witnessed them.

The Bulldogs defeated Region 10 foe Union, 52-26, last Thursday evening, but the final score was of relatively little importance.

As part of its senior night celebration, Judge Memorial head coach Anthony Alford decided to start Cathryn Hunt, a senior who has Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that results in low muscle tone, short stature, and a number of mental and behavioral problems.

According to Marianne Bartman, director of communications for Judge Memorial, Union coach Atlee Zipf graciously offered to allow Cathryn to shoot her specialty, a 3-pointer, for the first two minutes of the game. In that time, the senior went 1 for 3 from behind the arc.

After a timeout, the game continued as usual as the Bulldogs (15-5, 7-2) looked to stay in contention for a region title with a victory over the Cougars (4-16, 1-8).

With the game in hand and just two minutes remaining, Alford sent Cathryn back onto the floor. She hit four more 3-pointers, finishing the game shooting 5 of 8 with 15 total points.

“It was a pretty big night for me,” Cathryn told Bartman afterward. “I was glad to help my team. Did you hear the crowd go wild?”

“I think all of us are humbled beyond measure by the kindness extended to Cathryn by the Union contingent," said Rick Bartman, Judge's principal. "We all talk a lot about sportsmanship at every level, from peewee to the pros, but rarely do we see it in action as we did last (Thursday).”

The Bulldogs now wrap up region play with a trip to Park City on Friday, and then the team begins preparations for the 3A state tournament. Following the season, Cathryn will begin preparing to wrap up an eventful high school career that has included Bulldog of the Month honors and being elected homecoming queen in October 2012.

“I firmly believe that God has a plan for each and every one of us,” said Bartman. “And clearly part of his plan for Cathryn was not what Cathryn got out of Judge, but what Judge got from Cathryn.”

email: sthomas@desnews.com