Nicolet senior, with Down syndrome, helps lead team to victory in final home game

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GLENDALE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Hunter Peterson is never afraid to shoot his shot on the basketball court.

On Friday night, he was more than ready for the match-up between the Nicolet Knights and the Grafton Black Hawks.

The senior’s three-pointer rocked the crowd.

"It's bigger than basketball," said Terence Smith, a special education aide and basketball coach at Nicolet High School.

Coach Tee, as he's affectionately nicknamed, calls Hunter his brother, and is one of Hunter’s biggest cheerleaders.

"A lot of kids want to play and can't play, and he's one of them. But tonight, he's playing tonight," Smith said.

Hunter, who has Down syndrome, managed the team since his sophomore year, with Coach Tee letting him suit up at different games.

"Coach Tee helps me," Hunter said. "And Coach Tee helps me get the baskets."

His teammates say he brings heart and energy to the team.

"Sometimes we'll get down but then whenever he's around I can't help but smile and push through the rest of the game," teammate and sophomore Tyler Vant Hul said.

The crowd gave Hunter the warmest goodbye as he left the court in the second half.

And after the win, he stood next to his brother, Coach Tee, to celebrate their victory.

"I feel great, I feel great for him. That was awesome."

And Hunter’s basketball roots run deep. He’s also part of the Milwaukee Bucks Hoop Troop, helping with promotions and interacting with fans.

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