Walterboro's Carlise Washington has basketball dreams come true in senior season

Carlise Washington (WCIV).jpg
Carlise Washington (WCIV)

Dreams really do come true. Just ask Carlise Washington, a Colleton County teen who wanted to play high school basketball.

Carlise has jumped through hoops her whole life, but it’s never stopped the teen from making the game-winning shot.

In front of a packed house, Carlise geared up for her final game as a Cougar for Colleton County High School Thursday.

As she made her grand entrance, her fans cheered her on.

Washington plays the game in style, she adds her own flavor; so much so, you may not notice the teen has down syndrome and is hearing impaired.

“She always wanted to play the game of basketball; so I wanted to give her, her wishes her senior year to play.” Coach Perry Smalls said.

Head Basketball Coach, Perry Smalls said Washington has been dedicated to perfecting her shot.

“Carlise comes to P.E. class and that’s all she does is just play basketball and play basketball,” says Smalls.

In Thursday’s game, Washington put up the first two boards.

“We tipped the ball to her, she came down, shot twice, missed, got the third one, hit all net,” Smalls said.

The 19-year-old is an inspiration to her teammates. Shantasia Allen, one of the teams captains, said with each pass—Washington teaches them a new play.

“This is a good experience because most teams, they don’t do stuff like this. It’s new to us and we like it,” Allen said.

Carlise's biggest cheerleader doesn’t use pom poms, she doesn’t know all the chants, but her cheers are the loudest.

Barbara Washington is Carlise’s mother.

“She has shown me how important it is to treat (special needs children) like any other child,” Barbara says.

Barbara said Thursday night is the perfect ending to great basketball career for Carlise, who played in her first game earlier this season.

“I am ecstatic, I am so proud of her, I really am, I just thank God all the time for what he’s made her to be,” Washington says.