Shooting for Smiles

The beginning of the basketball season was still weeks away, but on a Saturday morning in October, members of the men's and women's squads were on the court at the Hammermill Center shooting and smiling.

The occasion was the inaugural Shooting for Smiles camp for children ages 10 and over with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Gannon players and coaches taught fundamental basketball skills to the campers, while Victor E. Knight was on hand for encouragement and plenty of high fives.

The camp was the idea of Brianna Brennan, a sophomore education major who had participated in similar camps and clinics in her hometown of Woodhaven, Mich.

She established the camp by reaching out to The Arc of Erie County, a community-based organization that provides advocacy and support for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Gannon education professor Jill Merritt, Ph.D., serves as the organization's vice president.