Nukeitra Hayes was a 4-year NCAA Division III basketball player at Gallaudet University. She won a gold medal with her team at the 2013 Deaflympics in Sofia, Bulgaria. She is going to the 2015 World Deaf Basketball Championships in Taiwan.
I played at a deaf school growing up and then at a deaf university. I’ve never had the experience of playing with hearing peers, only pick up games at my hometown parks or open gym sessions. I do know playing with deaf peers is where I have access to communication without any frustrations. There is equal access for every single person on the court, my teammates and I can communicate ideas easily, and blend our individual talents into great teamwork.
When I traveled to Sofia, Bulgaria with USADSF for the 2013 Deaflympics, my overall experience was great. We didn’t have any funding and had to pay out of pocket, but USADSF worked hard at preparing our team for the trip, and our apparel, lodging and meals were excellent. This summer I will be going to Taiwan for the 2015 World Deaf Basketball Championships and again, USADSF has been a big help working with us to prepare us for our travels.