Basketball & Soccer
When Derek Baer was just two years old he had his first open heart surgery. When he was three, he had a second heart surgery. These experiences changed Derek’s life and helped mold him into the person he is today. His mother teared up just thinking about the experiences and went on to say that, “we are so proud of him.” Derek plays soccer and basketball, but basketball is by far his favorite sport to play. It all got started when Bryan Rogers told him to start playing Special Olympics. Derek’s mom calls Bryan, “Derek’s angel” and says that “She is so grateful for that man.” Derek is now an integral part of the Portsmouth High School Unified basketball team and has gotten better every year.
Special Olympics has helped Derek a lot over the years. Derek believes that Special Olympics has made him more active and helped him make a lot of friends. Derek is really proud that he has been able to overcome his past challenges and push himself outside his comfort zone to get better in the sports he loves.
Derek was selected to represent Team New Hampshire in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Washington as a part of the basketball team. He was very excited that he was selected to be a part of the team and he is really looking forward to competing against people from across the country.