Over the years, the Hardwood Heroes Celebrity Basketball Game has become an event that people look forward to for months.
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.
“It is truly amazing that we are getting ready to participate in the 9th Hardwood Heroes Celebrity Basketball Game,” said Julie Monroe, superintendent for the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “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.”
This year’s celebrity team roster:
• Derek Allen, Portsmouth city manager
• Mike Bell, Autism Project of Southern Ohio president
• Kristen Bradshaw, Portsmouth High School softball coach
• Gerald Cadogan, Portsmouth High School football and swim coach
• Shaye Coburn, of the SOMC Development Foundation
• Dirk “Dirk Extreme” Cunningham, of RCW Entertainment
• Anthony Stidham, of the Scioto County Department of Job and Family Services
• Scot “Trik Nasty” Isaac, of RCW Entertainment
• Jeff Kleha, local attorney and SCBDD board member
• Tom Marsh, of COMPASS Community Health
• Mark Richards, of the Portsmouth Daily Times
• Rob Woodward, Wheelersburg High School football coach
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 game begins at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 1, at the Rhodes Athletic Center on the campus of Shawnee State University. Admission is $2 per person, and there will also be T-shirt sales and concessions available, in addition to a raffle and Split-the-Pot.