The sound of bouncing basketballs echoed off the walls of Brooks Gym on the campus of ETSU as young people from around our region gathered for the Upper East Tennessee Special Olympics’ inaugural basketball competition.
The Gators of Washington County, the Blue Devils of Unicoi County and the Longhorns of Johnson County came together for a day of camaraderie and competition. The teams played 3-on-3 and 5-on-5 games and also competed in a variety of skills competitions.
The event started with the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem. Rowan Benton of Johnson City read the Special Olympics athlete’s oath. Benton showed his versatility by competing in basketball on Friday after winning a pair of gold medals as a skier in the Winter Special Olympics in Gatlinburg last year.
As the athletes competed, several teachers, coaches and volunteers from the community worked tirelessly to ensure the event ran smoothly. Employees from several local businesses were on hand to assist in several aspects of the event.