BEAVERTON – A group of Grant County Special Olympians had a “golden” time at their March 16 regional basketball tournament.
Charley Fronapel, Jay Colson, Brian McKrola and Jordan Joslin received gold medals for three-on-three competition. This was Joslin’s first time on the team, and the team was undefeated.
Colson said he enjoys going to Beaverton for the games.
“I love meeting new people – it was good,” he said.
McKrola said he had fun and enjoys making baskets.
First-time participant Josiah Hoeffner received the gold in individual skills.
His mom, Jannet Hoeffner of Prairie City, said Josiah just started learning basketball three months ago.
“He was very excited to win,” she said. “This is a celebration, to give him the opportunity to excel at something and win the gold and have something to be proud of. He worked for it – It truly is a competition.”
She added the event was beneficial to the athletes, and to her as a parent and volunteer.
“The coaches are great, and it’s been a good experience for Josiah,” she said.
Basketball coaches are head coach Kim Joslin for three-on-three and head coach Deronda Lallatin for individual skills.
Volunteers included Karla Colson, Jannet Hoeffner, Bethany Hoeffner and other family supporters.
Next up, the athletes are preparing for the local Law Enforcement and Special Olympics Basketball game. Law enforcement officials throughout Oregon are known for supporting Special Olympics fund-raisers, Joslin said.
The event, in its third year, is set for 6:30 p.m. April 3 at the Grant Union Junior-Senior High School gym in John Day.
Admission is $3 a person and $10 for families.
The event includes Minute-to-Win-It games with prizes.
All donations are tax-deductible with proceeds helping more than 20 local Special Olympics athletes.
Donations can be dropped off at Sue-Z-Qs thrift store in John Day or call Kim Joslin, 541-620-1633, for more information.