Archive 2008 - 2019

Special Olympics Basketball event

by Pat Montain

(The Celtic's mascot, Lucky, shooting baskets while soaring during the Opening Ceremonies)

The Medfield Special Olympics Basketball School Day Games took place on Friday, April 5th drawing an enthusiastic crowd of 70 student athletes from Medfield, Holliston, Ashland, Medway, and Millis.  Holliston was represented by 28 students from the Miller Elementary School, Adams Middle School, and the High School. These students have been honing their basketball skills for the past several months. Their performance and effort represented Holliston well.

(Giacomo Costa dribbles through the course)

(The Holliston team display their skills - left to right: Christian Rife, Roy Mitri, and Megan Rafferty)

The excitement of this Special Olympics event started even before the student athletes left Holliston. Mrs. Budwey’s and Mrs. Boucher’s sixth and eighth grade Physical Education classes cheered the middle school students while on their way to the bus. Mrs. DuFault’s and Mrs. Peter’s fifth grade class rooms also set the mood by lining up outside of Miller to cheer the athletes as they made their way to the bus.  Mrs. DuFault and Mrs. Peter’s students held up signs and waved flags as they cheered on their representative Special Olympics athletes.

( Maddie Bloecher shows the Celtic's Green Team and Dance Team "how it is done!")

(Some of Holliston's Special Olympians)

The basketball event began with the Parade of Athletes, which led the students into the Medfield Middle School gymnasium.  Hung on the gym walls were 68 posters made by Medfield students honoring each of the student athletes. The Parade was led by the Boston Celtics Dance Team, Green Team, former Celtic player, Dana Barros, and the Celtic’s mascot, “Lucky”.  Holliston’s own, Cullen Tyman, led all of the participants in the Special Olympics Athletes’ Oath.  Celtics president, Rich Gotham, shared some words of wisdom to the athletes.  The Boston Celtic’s mascot, Lucky, performed some incredible basketball shots using a trampoline to soar through the air. Athletes then had the opportunity to exhibit their skills as they rotated through six basketball skill stations.  The basketball stations consisted of dribbling, shooting, and passing skills. Dana Barros participated in the stations with the student athletes. Miller principal, Dave Keim, kept everyone on schedule as he emceed while the students rotated through the skill stations. The Celtic’s Dance team and Green team provided entertainment between station rotations.

( Holliston athletes line up to get their medals.  Maddie Bloecher and Jesse Wexler (far right) exhibit the thrill of the Special Olympic spirit)

The awards ceremony was led by Fox News anchor, Mark Ockerbloom.  Holliston student athletes received their awards from Holliston Fire Fighter Dave Dubin and EMTs Bob Gianopoulos and Cindy Valovcin.  A lunch for the athletes and staff followed in the cafeteria. Tina Chemini of TC Scoops provided much appreciated ice cream after a meal of pizza. (Handing out the Special Olympics gold medals to the Holliston athletes include (from left to right) EMT Bob Gianopoulos, Fire Fighter Dave Dubin, and EMT Cindy Valovcin).

The day was made special and possible due to the help of many people. Matt LaCava, Medfield’s Director of Pupil Services did a great job hosting this event. Cory Zarrella, Massachusetts Special Olympics Associate South Section Director provided much needed advice to the planning committee over a period of several months. Holliston’s Lisa Galeaz-Weber of Marketing and Promotional Solutions provided tee shirts for all athletes at cost. Holliston School’s Wellness Council provided monies to provide the Holliston student athletes’ transportation, tee shirts, and lunch.  Many thanks go out to the Holliston teachers and paraprofessionals for their great support of all of the students during training and participation of the event.  Lastly and most importantly, a big thanks goes out to our Holliston Student Athletes whose hard work and enthusiasm greatly reflect what makes the Special Olympics so very special.

Comments (7)

Looks like a wonderful day. Thanks for the great article!

Sue | 2013-04-14 13:51:46

What a wonderful and well run event!! Hats off top the Special Olympics committee and the olympians--so fortunate to have been there to see it!!

Caro Jensen | 2013-04-14 07:58:53

An amazing event put together by Pat and Wendy! Our students are lucky to have you both!

Ann King | 2013-04-12 16:54:27

What a great event! Look for more events like this in the future, some hosted here in town!

Brad Jackson | 2013-04-12 16:44:19


Anna | 2013-04-12 14:28:25

Awesome event and great article!

Scott | 2013-04-12 14:27:15

It's so refreshing coming to this site and reading these wonderful stories. Congratulations to all the Olympians and kudos to those who made the event happen.

John | 2013-04-12 08:50:02