- Sponsorship -

Team Manager Sinks Three-pointers to Cheers of Teammates

“It’s Kyle Bu-Bu-Bu-Bu-Bu-Bu-B!”

The booming voice echoed through the gymnasium, over the sound of a dribbling basketball, just before eighth-grade student Kyle Bueche threw up a three-point shot.

While it was a regular Tuesday afternoon following lunch at Byron Center West Middle School, gym teacher RJ Bentley grabbed the microphone as he always does when Kyle plays. Kyle, who has Down syndrome, has become well-known in Byron Center for his ability to make three-pointers. “He’s a baller,” said eighth-grader teammate Charles Shride. “He’s a three-point specialist,” said eighth-grader Nathan Stickler, another teammate.Kyle Bueche shoots with his teammates

“He’s the man,” Bentley said.

Many mornings before school Kyle comes to the gymnasium, basketball in hand, to spend time shooting around. “I go into the gym and shoot some threes,” said Kyle.

‘An Outstanding Shooter’

Kyle, who served as team manager for the Team B Boys Basketball team, got to show his skills to a bigger audience recently when Coach Jeff Krauss sent him into play during games against Holland and Rockford. Kyle sank two three-point shots against Holland and one against Rockford.

“It was emotional. We were so happy for him,” said eighth-grader Jacob Hooper. Emotional may be an understatement. Krauss said the crowd went wild. “Everyone in there just exploded,” he said. “Our whole bench was cheering and just yelling. Some of the parents were getting a little teary-eyed.”

Kyle Bueche gets ready to attempt a long shotKrauss said he wanted Kyle to have a chance to get on the court during a game. “He definitely can play. He is just an outstanding shooter. I just thought it would be really cool for him to have that experience,” Krauss said.

The team finished its season before winter break with a 10-1 record. Krauss said Kyle was a great part of the team with his happy-go-lucky attitude, helpful nature and ability to be a great friend.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Krauss. “Kyle fit in really well this year with the kids. I think a lot of the chemistry he brought to our team really benefited them.

“He’s always at practice smiling. Just making it fun.”

Hanging Out

Kyle, the son of Ed and Linda Bueche, and his teammates are friends outside of the gym as well. Many of the basketball players have known him since sixth grade or before.

While eating lunch recently, they demonstrated the hand sign Kyle used after making his three-point shot: a circle over the eye with three fingers up, just like University of Michigan basketball player Nik Stauskas.

The boys talked about how funny Kyle is, how he talks to everybody in the hallways and knows all the students’ names.

Kyle said he loves being part of the team. “I felt that we had a great season … We competed well overall. I think Coach Krauss putting me as team manager was a perfect fit,” Kyle said.


Byron Center West Middle School

National Down Syndrome Society

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.


Bus drivers work as daytime cleaners during pandemic

It’s also a plus to have familiar faces around school...

What kind of school bus doesn’t need gas or batteries?

A new/old way to get to school is saving money and having a positive effect on students and families...

Superheroes, jungle explorers, Cinderella join virtual kindergarten lessons

As an all-virtual kindergarten teacher at Stoney Creek Elementary, Tiffany Imhoff is constantly adapting and tweaking her lessons to keep her students engaged and learning...

Making masks more fun

A face mask tie-dying activity teaches East Oakview developmental kindergartners teamwork and patience while also supporting a very local business...


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Fourth-grader’s pickle stand inspired by school marketplace

‘With my tiny fingers, I am good at stuffing them,’ said the young pickle peddler. ‘You can see how they are packed in, so you get more for the money’...

Spreading out in the great outdoors

Outdoor education mid-pandemic is proving to be a welcome and successful alternative to indoor, masked learning in Byron Center this fall...

Plotting for a plot

Students’ hand-drawn maps are meant for the safekeeping of memories and to spur ideas for when they write personal narratives...
- Sponsorship -


Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...


Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -


Maranda Where You LiveWGVU