Return to Headlines

DHS athlete, Ellie Rapp, scores at Basketball Game with the help of teammates

We would like to give a big shout out to the DHS Girls Basketball team, the Clarkston High School Girls Basketball team, to the coaches of both teams, Coach Dawson and Coach Tinch, and to DHS senior Ellie Rapp for showing us all what it truly means to be Stronger Together. DHS and Clarkson played each other Tuesday at DHS. These teams displayed tremendous character and sportsmanship when, in the final 2 minutes and 30 seconds of the game, senior Ellie Rapp was put in the game. Both teams went on to assist Ellie as she scored for the first time as a member of the DHS Basketball team! Way to go Ellie and all the players! 


Scroll down to read more about Ellie and the DHS Basketball team. 


We would also like to shout out our DHS Cheerleaders and the Clarkston Cheerleaders for coming together to do a unity cheer at the game Tuesday night. This was also a tremendous display of teamwork and sportsmanship!


Click here to view the video of the unity cheer and Ellie’s basket. 

Basketball and Cheer Clip:


Click here to see Ellie and Coach Dawson’s interviews on WSB.


From Coach Dawson, DHS Girls Basketball Coach:


Three years ago, I received a phone call from Ellie Rapp's father, Jim Rapp, asking if she could be a part of our team as a manager or in some capacity as they were just moving in from out of state. Her parents wanted her to have the opportunity to be associated with the team, whether it be playing, managing, or assisting in any way since she was affiliated with her team from her previous school. I asked if she had a uniform and played at her previous school and his answer was yes. Then, it was an instant no-brainer that she would serve in the same capacity, an officially rostered player. Her energy instantly became infectious. Ellie is the heartbeat of our team because of her positive energy, enthusiasm, dedication, and killer dance moves! Yes, she is the best dancer on our team by far!


Fast-forward to this past Tuesday vs. Clarkston. I informed Ellie before the game, as I always do, to be prepared (to get in the game). Her response was, "Yes, sir. I'm always ready, coach!" Her number was called in the last 2:30 of the game. The crowd immediately erupted. She got in and played good defense, but on offense, she was being denied tighter than a pickle jar. One of our team members got the attention of Ellie's defender and tipped her off on what we were trying to do and she immediately motioned to her teammates and their coach, Coach Tinch. We inbounded the ball to Ellie and she took off towards the basket free and clear. She missed the first two shots and one of the Clarkston team members rebounded it and gave her another try. The third shot was ALL NET at the buzzer! The crowd erupted and the team rushed to Ellie to congratulate her! 


The other great moment that needs to be highlighted is the high-class sportsmanship that the Clarkston team displayed! Normally this type of sportsmanship is shown when the team "granting" the opportunity is leading by a handsome amount of points. However, this was the complete opposite! Clarkston was behind by 28 points and had it in their hearts to make an opponent's dream come true despite what the score said. That in and of itself is the TRUE meaning of sportsmanship! So we would like to give a special thanks to Coach Tinch and the Clarkston staff and team! They all earned a "W" in our book that night!


From Ellie’s Mother:

Ellie has Williams Syndrome, a genetic condition present at birth


She has been playing basketball since 8th grade and has been playing for the Bulldogs since her Sophomore (10th grade) year. For Ellie, playing basketball has provided a great opportunity to be a part of a team and to learn from her teammates both on and off the court.  She loves playing the game, but it's more than just a sport for her, it’s a way to connect with her peers and to feel like she's a meaningful part of the community.  The coaching staff has done a tremendous job of including her.


For the team, I hope by having Ellie as a teammate, they are learning about inclusion and that all kinds of people can make an impact. 

Ellie is excited about being a senior and is applying to the Georgia Tech Excel program for next year.