APD Families are Lucky Charms

By J.R. Harding

The Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) arranged for APD customers to enjoy some sporting fun. On February 6, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) hosted a men’s and women’s basketball game double header. FGCU invited the Oglesby and Higgins families from the APD waiver waiting list to attend game day. It was thought before the games that the APD families might be the teams’ lucky charms. In fact, while performing community service, the men’s basketball team had previously met Emmanuel Oglesby while he was in the hospital in 2015. Since that day, Emmanuel dreamed of attending a game.

Thanks to the leadership of FGCU Athletic Director and his staff, Tyler Schwab and Jenna Cobb, Emmanuel’s dream came true. According to Patricia Oglesby, Emmanuel could not have been more excited. Oglesby said, “All he talked about during the week before was about going to the game.” She said they felt like royalty and apart of the team. They were met in the parking lot and guided into the arena. The Oglesby’s were presented with game day gear and enjoyed a fun dinner with other VIP’s and met the players. In fact, while leaving the pre-game pep talk, Emmanuel got to show off his ball skills in front of one of the Gulf Coast star players!

In addition, the Oglesby family was joined by the Higgins family for the double header against the University of North Florida.

Levi’s mom said, “Our experience with FGCU was nothing less than fantastic! When we arrived, there was a parking spot reserved for us with a sign that read ‘RESERVED PARKING for The Higgins Family.’ How cool was that! Jenna Cobb met us at the door, gave us some awesome FGCU basketball shirts and took us to the ladies locker room so we could hear the pre-game pep talk from the coach, Karl Smesko. Then, the coach asked Levi to come to the front and he presented Levi with an autographed basketball from the women's basketball team! He hasn't let that ball out of his site! We got to meet Azul the mascot, then Jenna took us to our seats.”

The evening turned out to be a huge success for the families and Gulf Coast University. The families turned out to be lucky charms, and both Gulf Coast men’s and women’s teams achieved decisive wins with the men scoring 81-65 and the women winning 75-50. With such performances on and off the court, Florida Gulf Coast University leads by example and our APD families look forward to cheering them on next year!


Emmanuel and Family.


The Higgins family sitting front row.