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Basketball is a game of communication and teamwork. The Notre Dame varsity girls basketball team had a good lesson in both of those Wednesday when it hosted a scrimmage with Buffalo’s St. Mary’s School for the Deaf and Rochester School for the Deaf.

Head coach Dave Pero says he thought his girls could benefit from the experience of playing against them.

“We had asked them before we started here to day how they do it,” he said. “They do it with sign language and they teach them that way and they switch and screen and all the stuff that they have to do. That’s what I wanted my girls to pick up on was how they get through it.”

"It’s a little bit different but I do believe that the game is played the same. I think they’re just as aggressive as we are.”

Coach Pero said he played against St. Mary’s in the late 60s as a student at Notre Dame and respected the talent of the team and how they played. He recalled close, competitive and exciting games.

Tim Kelly, superintendent of St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, says it was a good opportunity to compete against talented teams in preparation for the regular season, while also scouting Rochester School for the Deaf which is in their league. But the benefits don’t stop there…

“We’re looking to always at our school have the kids reach their full potential both academically and athletically and this certainly helps our girls reach their full potential athletically,” Kelly said.

“You have 55 girls at 6 o’clock at night, in a gym, sharing a common interest and I just think it’s great.”

Geneseo High School also participated in the informal scrimmage.

The Fighting Irish open the season Dec. 11 against Oakfield-Alabama.

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