It’s becoming a special tradition at Niagara University.
This year’s event brought 14 basketball teams from 11 different clubs to Monteagle Ridge. The day began with an opening ceremony that saw each team parade into the Scafiddi Gym displaying their colors in front of more than 200 spectators, including numerous Niagara student-athletes.
Players from the NU women’s basketball team were among those on hand to encourage the athletes through their team games and the skills challenge.
“We did it last year too, and it’s just fun working with the players,” said sophomore guard Meghan McGuinness. “It’s something that makes you feel good to give back. They think we’re a big deal so it just makes you feel good.”
“I always have a lot of fun doing the Special Olympics and I think everyone on our team does,” added sophomore forward Gabby Baldasare. “It’s a great experience to work with those people, and to be around them give you such a good perspective on life and it puts you in the best mood to be around them.”
The Kiernan Center transformed into a makeshift Olympic Village, complete with food, games, arts and crafts, and live music. Several of the participants – ranging in age from seven to 82 – danced with friends between games.
“Our students really showed what they were made of by supporting this event,” said Derek Puff, assistant director of recreation and intramurals. “Dozens of them volunteered as coaches, officials and event managers. It was a great afternoon and we look forward to it getting better each year!”
To view more photos, please visit http://marcdaul.smugmug.com/NFHSSports/2013-Purple-Eagles.