The Saint Mary's College men's and women's basketball teams
hosted a clinic for the athletes of Special Olympics in McKeon Pavilion last month. The clinic was sponsored by Common Interest
Management, and proved to be a memorable experience for all involved.
"This was something we all took great pride in participating
in," said Kate Gaze, a sophomore on the Saint Mary's women's basketball team. "Being able to work with the athletes
was amazing, and seeing the huge smiles on their faces the whole day was really
"It was an incredible opportunity for our players to work
with the Special Olympics athletes," said Saint Mary's Head Women's Basketball
Coach Paul Thomas. "We had a
great time and look forward to doing it again next year."
The clinic drew approximately 75
Special Olympics athletes from around the Bay Area. Skills taught at the clinic ranged from passing, rebounding,
shooting drills to dribble relays.
All athletes in attendance received an event t-shirt and complimentary
ticket to a men's and women's basketball game in November.
View a photo gallery of the event!
"We were honored to have the
opportunity to host this clinic," said Saint Mary's men's basketball coach
Randy Bennett. "It's important to
us to give back to this community because it's been so great to us-and it
couldn't be with a better organization."
The clinic was a success for all
involved, promoting inclusion, acceptance and most importantly, the celebration
of sport. And for some, it was
even a learning experience.
During the clinic, Kenton Walker,
a junior on the Saint Mary's men's team, spent time with an athlete who was
blind. But Walker soon found out
he didn't let his lack of vision interfere with much of anything.
"The experience, although
challenging, made me grateful for my sight and athletic ability," said Walker. "I'm
glad that I had the chance to hang out with him, and I learned a lot about
myself and others through this experience."