Hardwood Heroes game returns for 9th year

By Nikki Blankenship - [email protected]

Local celebrities are getting their game faces on for an opportunity to help out some special athletes. The Hardwood Heroes Celebrity Basketball game is returning to the area for the ninth year. Hardwood Heroes raises funds and awareness for the Scioto County Special Olympics.

“Hardwood Heroes Celebrity Basketball Game has become an event people look forward to for months,” Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities (SCBDD) Community Relations Coordinator Lori McNelly stated. “The event, which pits local celebrities against Scioto County Special Olympians in a good-natured rivalry on the court at Shawnee State University, is in its ninth year of raising funds to support the local Special Olympics program. It also serves as the finale of National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month activities here in Scioto County.”

Celebrities participating in this year’s game include Portsmouth City Manager Derek Allen, Autism Project of Southern Ohio President Mike Bell, Portsmouth High School Softball Coach Kristen Bradshaw, Portsmouth High School Football and Swim Coach Gerald Cadogan, Southern Ohio Medical Center Development Foundation Shaye Coburn, Revolutionary Championship Wrestling (RCW) Entertainment’s Dirk “Dirk Extreme” Cunningham, RCW Entertainment’s Scot “Trik Nasty” Isaac; Scioto County Department of Job and Family Services’ Anthony Stidham, Attorney and SCBDD member Jeff Kleha, COMPASS Community Health’s Tom Marsh, Portsmouth Daily Times’ Mark Richards and Wheelersburg High School Football Coach Rob Woodward.

“It is truly amazing that we are getting ready to participate in the 9th Hardwood Heroes Celebrity Basketball Game,” Julie Monroe, Superintendent for the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities added. “These games are always well attended, and we feel fortunate to have built such great partnerships and friendships within our community. Scioto County is truly a special place where individuals with developmental disabilities are accepted for who they are and what they can contribute.”

All proceeds from Hardwood Heroes directly affect the nearly 100 local athletes involved in Scioto County Special Olympics sports, which include basketball, bowling, golf and track and field. Funds are used for transport costs to away games, food costs on away game days and the upkeep of gear and uniforms. Scioto County Special Olympics offers opportunities for physical fitness and involvement in competitive sports to local athletes with physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Hardwood Heroes game begins at 12:30 p.m. on Sat., April 1, at the Rhodes Athletic Center at Shawnee State University. Admission is $2 per person, and there will also be t-shirt sales, concessions, a raffle and Split-the-Pot.


By Nikki Blankenship

[email protected]

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930.

Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1930.