Last New Year’s Eve, Eric Dompierre was at a party with his high school basketball teammates. At 12:30 a.m., he called his father, Dean Dompierre, to see if he could stay out for another hour. By 2 a.m., his father was good-naturedly dragging him home.
It was a typical night in the life of a teenager in Ishpeming, Mich., a small mining town of about 7,000 people in the state’s Upper Peninsula, exactly the sort of night that Dean Dompierre had always wanted for his son.
Eric Dompierre has Down syndrome, which led to his being held back in junior kindergarten and first grade. Now Dompierre is a junior at Ishpeming High School, doing well in school and navigating the tricky social hierarchy of the teenage world, in part because of his participation in basketball.
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