The Shooting Stars and the Vern Riffe Cardinals scored early and often against their Celebrities counterparts at Saturday’s Hardwood Heroes basketball game at Shawnee State University finally coming out on top by the lopsided score of 121 to 24.
“Any game I’ve seen them play they won,” Lori McNelly, Community Relations Coordinator for the Scioto County Board of DD, said. “And they like to win big. You see quality athleticism here and I’m just amazed at the sportsmanship and camaraderie.”
Hardwood Heroes is truly a community event featuring the Shooting Stars, the adult side of the Board of DD and The Vern Riffe Cardinals, the school program side, taking on celebrities from the community. The 2016 game was tradition’s eighth year taking the court, and volunteers throughout the Scioto County community get involved in making a difference with Scioto County Special Olympics. Another partner in the event is Shawnee State University.
“Shawnee State has been amazing with us,” McNelly said. “Their ball team is here, their Intervention Specialists Club is here. We’re getting a lot of support from the community.”
Playing for the celebrities were Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis, Dr. Greg Hudson of Christ Care Pediatrics, Wayne Allen of the Daily Times and Community Common, Jeff Kleha, attorney and Scioto County Board of DD member, Jon Peters of the SSU Police Department, Anthony Stidham from Scioto County Job and Family Services, Andy Dawes of the Portsmouth Police Department and Tom Marsh of Compass Community Health.
“I play to support the students there at DD,” Davis said. “I think it’s a wonderful cause. I think the fact that we can come out in the community and support them, their organization, the families that are involved, especially those that attend the school there. I think it’s wonderful. I just want to be a part.”
The $2 admission charge raises money for Special Olympics. Fans can purchase commemorative T-shirts. They also feature concessions for those in attendance.
All the money stays local, so you’re actually helping the people on the court,” McNelly said.
“This is definitely one of the biggest events because it gets people pumped up. Our individuals are able to interact with the Shawnee State Basketball team and they love being able to play with these basketball players,” Scioto County Board of DD Superintendent Julie Monroe said. “All of the people that come to watch from the community, cheering them on, there’s just a lot of synergy and it’s just good for everyone – the individuals, our families, our staff, everyone.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.