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High school senior fights to play ball


MEEKER, Okla. – A Meeker High School Senior is working to get back in the game.

While 18-year-old David Kauley turns to basketball to cope with the death of his mother last year, that too has been taken away from him.

The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association said the point guard can’t play at Meeker High School. 

For Kauley, playing basketball is more than scoring points.

“After my mom passed away, it helped me deal with that a lot,” Kauley said. “Whenever they took that away, I’ve been in a big depression.”

The OSSAA said the rules state if a student is established in one district and they transfer to another district, they can’t get back on the court until they sit out for a year.

Kauley lived in the Dale district with his mother, Liberty, before she died after an accidental overdose in Feb. 2011.

Now he lives with his grandparents, walking the same hallways his mother once did.

“We were healing well and we got moved over here, his grades came back up and then we got hit with this,” Kauley’s grandfather, Dan Gadbois, said.

Gadbois spoke to the Activities Association with no luck.

“The doctor said he has a medical need for his depression to play sports particularly basketball,” he said.

Coaches from both districts said they want him to play, even letting him sit on the bench for the first game in street clothes.

“I wanted to cry,” Kauley said. “I did. It was like my heart ripped out. I didn’t want to do anything else but be on the court with them.”

Meanwhile, the teen’s grandparents don’t just worry about Kauley’s mental health, they worry about his chances of playing in college.

He hopes he can finish high school playing the sport his mother loved to watch him play.

“It’s kind of just as depressing as when my mom died; I can’t live without it,” Kauley said. “I want to do it in her honor.” 

The OSSAA said transfer students can play at the junior varsity level but at Meeker High, seniors can’t play on the JV team.

Kauley’s grandparents plan to appeal the Activity Association’s decision for the second time on Dec. 5.