Special Olympics basketball team celebrates great season

Cheering, laughter, and tears of joy filled Christ the King gymnasium, as Fallbrook’s Special Olympics basketball team celebrated another great season, June 3.

Athletes from the Shooting Stars had fun and goofed off during their last game, which was played against family and friends.

Hosted from 2:30 to 4 p.m., the festivities included a basketball game, song performances by the team members, and an awards show.

Each athlete received a certificate of achievement for completing what was called “a great second season.” Although most said it was not about the awards for them, it was about the friendship and fun.

Athlete Jeana Rubio said, “I just want to thank my team for all the fun.”

Supported by groups such as, Jeremiah’s Ranch, REINS, and Care-Rite, the Shooting Stars have grown immensely over the last year.

Linda White, team coordinator and Jeremiah’s Ranch director, said, “We just started a year ago by a couple of parents, now the parents can sit and cheer for their kids, because the community has gotten so involved.”

“Even the four coaches are from the community,” she said.

Shooting Stars coach and REINS executive director Debbie Shinner said she loved teaching the athletes.

“This was the most unselfish group of young adults that I’ve ever seen,” said Shinner.

After practicing once a week for four months, the team is now prepared to compete next year against other Special Olympics teams in the vicinity.

Looking forward to a great third season, Shinner said, “We will be playing more scrimmages, practices, and tournaments next year. Those wishing to play can contact Special Olympics, and the season should start around March.”

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