Deaf high school basketball coach inspires his young players

Deaf basketball coach inspires players

Jackson, Miss. — The Bulldogs are like any other high school basketball team, except for one thing. The athletes play for the Mississippi School for the Deaf.

CBS News talked to the team through sign language and interpreters. No one moves quite like Sekoe White, the school's coach.

At a recent game against nearby Jackson Prep, a fan tweeted a video of the coach imploring the team to play better defense and signing "Who's house?" The players sign back emphatically, "Our house!"

White said he initially didn't think it was a big deal.

"Then, you know, when I stepped back I started to realize that maybe it is a big deal for the whole community," he said through an interpreter. "I try as much as possible to inspire my players because I used to be like them."

d2-yuccas-blind-hoops-coach-1218-frame-1740.jpg
Sekoe White CBS News

White grew up being bullied as the only deaf player on his high school basketball team in Lexington, Kentucky. But he persevered, playing overseas and in the Deaflympics.

"I always think that basketball really saved my life," he said. "Really, if not for basketball I might have been dead, in jail. I would never have gotten this job. I'd never be a coach."

It's something he's passed on to his players — to be winners on and off the court. It's a universal lesson worth celebrating.