José Rodriguez and Charles Zelinsky

mbx007242_g2When he was a teenager, José Rodriguez was kicked out of public school.

He was diagnosed with a learning disability and sent to a school for students with special needs.

This qualified him to participate in the New Jersey Special Olympics – any child or adult with an intellectual disability can take part.

At StoryCorps, José told his former coach, Charles Zelinsky, what his life was like before he found the games.

José is now a Special Olympics basketball coach–and will be coaching during the 2012 New Jersey Summer Games.

Originally aired June 8, 2012, on NPR’s Morning Edition.