Special Olympics team will face off with law enforcement in hoops battle

The Grant County Special Olympics team and unified partners, front row from left, Elizabeth Swarthout, Crystal Wimberley, Katie Shockley, Rodney Brunson, Josiah Hoeffner, Dave Hoeffner; back row, Lauri Shockley, David Gill, Michael Shockley, Jay Colson, Brian McKrola, Caleb Madsen, Charley Fronapel, Deronda Lallatin and Eddie Humbird (behind Dave Hoeffner).

The Grant County Special Olympics 5-on-5 basketball team is gearing up for their annual Local Law Enforcement game set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, at Grant Union.

The Special Olympics team members, along with three unified partners, will face off against law enforcement members from the agencies in Grant County. The games have been known to be fun, as well as competitive. Tickets are $3 each or $10 for a family.

Special Olympics basketball head coach Michael Shockley said they are looking forward to the matchup, adding there are strong ties between Special Olympics and law enforcement.

“We really appreciate them participating,” he said. “We have a lot of fun with the law enforcement. We respect and honor them for their service.”

Shockley said law enforcement volunteers also help out at regional and state games.

During the Summer Games for track and field, “they help light the torch, and they’re right there in their uniform to help pass out awards,” the coach said. “That really means a lot to the Special Olympians.”

Tuesday’s event is one of the biggest fundraisers for Grant County Special Olympics.

There will be a bake sale, dessert auction and Minute-to-Win-It games for $1 each during halftime.

The Special Olympians attended the March 18 regional basketball competition in Hillsboro. Although the five-on-five team didn’t win, they were given the Sportsmanship Award, and every team member scored.

“It was fun to play against teams we played against last year,” Shockley said, adding they are already planning on ways to improve for next year.

Track practice starts April 30, and local Special Olympics Program Coordinator Deronda Lallatin said those interested should pick up an application for their doctor to fill out as soon as possible.

For more information, call Lallatin at 541-575-0715.

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