Special Olympics Winter Regional Basketball tournament at Rogue X

MEDFORD, Ore. – Saturday (3/9/2024), Special Olympics teams from all over Southern Oregon gathered in Medford to go head-to-head in the Special Olympics Winter Regional Basketball Tournament.

The Rogue-X tournament had 3-on-3’s, 5-on-5’s, but no matter what type of game athletes were playing, sportsmanship was on full display in all of these games and that’s what the coaches and the athletes say is the most important part of today’s event. One of the teams was the Golden Eagles. One of their coaches, Josh Brown said,

“Sportsmanship’s key, right? It’s all about inclusiveness, we’re trying to make sure everyone’s having a good time, that’s the whole thing about Special Olympics.”

The tournament took up the entire Rogue-X gym space, 8-full sized courts where teams were able to have fun and grow closer to their teams and coaches. And the Golden Eagles Team’s coaches say it means a lot to them to participate in the tournament.

Coach Emily Allen said,

“I’m just happy to be out here. I’m happy to have the different games going on, it’s just an all-day event of just watching good basketball.”

Coach Bob Wolfe added,

“And you see people out here just having so much fun, they don’t always have that opportunity. It’s just an honor to be here today.”

And even as teams would win and lose, the athletes say it was more important to have fun and support one another. Special Olympics Athlete Brandon Roach said,

“Because I… I missed a couple of layups… So…”

His teammate Michael Deglar assured him,

“It’s alright Brandon, you got it… It’s okay man.”

Brandon Roach responded,

“Next time. I’ll [be] looking straighter.”

Michael Deglar said,

“Use the backboard. “

Brandon Roach said,

“Yeah and use the backboard.”

Athletes like Tory Wheat say competition is fun and she loves playing her hardest but at the end of the day, any Special Olympics event is all about the Special Athlete community,

“It’s like, why we have Special Olympics? To get [and] meet new friends. They are good company, and they help out… the team out.”

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Maximus Osburn is a reporter for NBC5 News. He studied at California State University-Northridge, graduating with a degree in Broadcasting. Maximus is an avid martial arts enthusiast and combat sports fan. He even traveled to Thailand to train with martial arts experts. Maximus loves movies, nature, and doing things outside his comfort zone, like swimming in sub-freezing lakes in the winter.
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