Lincoln Basketball Team To Celebrate Biggest Fan

The Lincoln Middle School boys’ basketball team is celebrating their biggest fan with a dedication during their last regular season game.

Desiree Andrews, an eighth-grade student at Lincoln with Down syndrome, started cheering for the team last year as part of the Lady Knights’ Cheerleading Squad. She quickly caught the attention of the boys’ team when they noticed people in the stands making fun of her during a game, which bothered one of the players so much that he approached them during a timeout and told them to stop.

Now, before the start every home game, each member of the Lincoln eighth-grade boys’ basketball team shakes Andrews’ hand to show their support. The team also includes her in game-time and post-game celebrations and has renamed the Lincoln Middle School gymnasium “D’s House” in her honor.

“The cheerleaders and the basketball players that I’ve been working with the last two years are some of the kindest and most supportive students that I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with,” Lincoln athletic director Timothy Nieman said. “The girls accepted and embraced Desiree as their own with enthusiasm and without hesitation. The boys basketball players that have been supporting her for the last two years are model students in the classroom while displaying fantastic integrity and sportsmanship on the court.”

In addition, many have purchased T-shirts that depict a “D’s House” design, which was created by Nieman to appear as if the basketball is protecting the house to mirror the boys’ basketball team’s sentiment toward Andrews, he said. The T-shirts have been made available to order twice, with all of them being sold at cost to minimize the price and maximize orders, he said. The first order was made available exclusively to the players, cheerleaders and staff.

However, as the shirts came in, many of the other students requested to purchase one, so a second order was created. If interest increases again, Nieman would likely organize another order, he said.

The basketball game honoring Desiree will take place at Lincoln Middle School’s gymnasium, “D’s House,” at 5 p.m. Monday, March 9.