MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The Special Forces basketball team at New Hope High School (NHHS) is a force to reckon with on the court. The inclusive basketball team is preparing to defend their undefeated title in their first dual match against Madison County High School (MCHS) and Buckhorn High School (BHS), set for next week.

The student-athletes on these teams all face individual disabilities, but none of them are letting the challenges they face stop them from giving their all on the court.

“Too many times in life we’re told what we cannot do, and I want to show these kids what they can do,” said the team’s head coach and NHHS special education teacher Kathy Williams. “Just because it’s a disability, it doesn’t mean anything. It’s just a different ability… not a disability.”

Created in 2017, the special needs basketball team gives students with certain disabilities the chance to play sports. In the last six years, the Special Forces have managed to compete at local and state levels.

Special Forces team member, and NHHS men’s basketball manager, JR Kurzeja has been on the team throughout high school and shared that the key points to success on the team are to “work hard, listen to the coach and don’t get in trouble,”.

Last week, players told us they’re excited to get back on the court after a hiatus stemming from COVID-19. Before then, they were undefeated in their regular season against Sparkman, Buckhorn and Brewer high schools.

The team’s first dual game against MCHS and BHS will be on February 17.