On April 1, the 9th Annual Hardwood Heroes basketball game took place at the James A. Rhodes athletic center at Shawnee State University.
Local celebrities took on Scioto County Olympic athletes from the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
City Manager Derek Allen, Mike Bell of the Autism Project of Southern Ohio, Portsmouth High School Softball Coach Kristen Bradshaw, Portsmouth High School Football and Swim Coach Gerald Cadogan, Shaye Coburn of the Southern Ohio Medical Center Development Foundation, Dirk Cunningham and Scot Isaac of RCW Entertainment, SCBDD Member and Attorney Jeff Kleha, Compass Healthcare’s Tom Marsh, Mark Richard of the Daily Times, Scioto County Jobs and Family Services Anthonly Stidham and Rob Woodward, Wheelersburg Football Coach made up the celebrity team.
“Superintendent Julie Monroe invited me out to participate and it’s just such a great cause,” explained City Manager Derek Allen. “This is the first time I’ve ever done this. Anything I can ever do to help the community, I try and do.”
The Vern Riffe Cardinals and the Shooting Stars combined forces to take on the celebrities and had been preparing for the challenge months in advance.
“They’re ready for this all year. As soon as basketball season starts up, they start talking about Hardwood Heroes,” said Communications Director Lori McKnelly. “They are so excited to be a part of this game. Everybody gets to play, and everybody likes to trash talk. The trash talk starts months ahead. They train, they play games all the time. The Cardinals just played their big rival Ironton and took it into overtime and won by three points. This is a competitive game. It’s an important game for our individuals and the community.”
By the end of the first half, the celebrity team boasted a total nine points, to the Olympians 44.
All proceeds from the event are invested right back into the athletes and the continuation of Special Olympic sporting events.
The Olympians took home the win that night, with the final score being 121 to 20.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.