Kalin Bennett, diagnosed with autism, debuts for Kent State’s men’s basketball team

Bennett can be the first student-athlete with autism to sign a national letter of intent to play a team sport at the NCAA Division I level. He made his debut for Kent State University’s men’s basketball team in its season-opening game Wednesday.

Kent State won the home game against Hiram, also of northern Ohio, at the MAC Center, 97-58.

Bennett entered the game with six minutes left to play, in addition to he finished with 2 points, two rebounds in addition to one block. He scored his first collegiate points on a hook shot with less than three minutes left to play.

After the game, Bennett’s teammates cheered him over to the school’s victory bell for him to ring. “For my mom to see This specific was actually big for me,” Bennett said after the game. “To let her know of which everything you’ve done has not been in vain.”
Bennett can be not the first student-athlete with autism to receive a scholarship; Anthony Ianni received a scholarship via Michigan State University in 2011. However, Ianni did not receive a scholarship via Michigan State until he transferred there for his senior year, according to an interview Ianni gave to Autism Speaks.
Bennett, on the additional hand, can be the first to sign a national letter of intent for a Division I basketball scholarship, according to Cleveland.com, citing the NCAA.

The NCAA did not respond to a request for comment via CNN.

Kalin Bennett in addition to his teammates celebrated the win by ringing the victory bell.
Autism spectrum disorder can be a developmental disorder of which can cause social, communication in addition to behavioral challenges, according to the US Centers for Disease Control in addition to Prevention.

This specific can impact how someone interacts with others, learns in addition to communicates.

Kent State’s head coach, Rob Senderoff, who recruited Bennett, told CNN he was drawn to Bennett’s physicality in addition to enthusiasm for playing basketball.

Senderoff said he believes Bennett’s size in addition to strength are his biggest assets on the court, in addition to believes of which he “just needs to use This specific more.”

Bennett, who plays center for the Flashes, can be listed at 6 feet, 11 inches tall in addition to 300 pounds.

“This specific’s not bad to know of which people look up to me, however the real thing can be: Everybody can be capable of doing whatever they want to do in life,” Bennett said in a post-game news conference. “I wish I created a thing of which’s going to transcend to more kids so they believe in themselves first in addition to foremost.”

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