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Opinion

In Focus: Joyful noise

Mooseheart basketball player Makur Puoy (center), who is from South Sudan, hugs his teammates as they erupt in cheers upon hearing that they were cleared to play Tuesday and Wednesday.
Mooseheart basketball player Makur Puoy (center), who is from South Sudan, hugs his teammates as they erupt in cheers upon hearing that they were cleared to play Tuesday and Wednesday.

I arrived at the Mooseheart Fieldhouse just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, around the time school officials learned that three of the school’s basketball players could compete in this week’s games. The team is under scrutiny by the Illinois High School Association after the boys transferred to the school from South Sudan last year.

I poked my head into the team meeting room as the team gathered before practice, and I obtained permission from head coach Ron Ahrens to be a “fly on the wall.” A minute later, coach Ahrens announced the decision and the room erupted in cheers and hugs, surrounding players Makur Puou (pictured), Akim Nyang and Mangisto Deng. I love being in the right place at the right time.

– Sandy Bressner

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