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North Carolina

Special Olympians get their shot in Smith Center

Posted January 13, 2013
Updated January 14, 2013

— The North Carolina Tar Heels made hoop dreams come true for some Special Olympics athletes from around the state Sunday.

More than 100 Special Olympics athletes took part in a two-hour basketball clinic with the Tar Heels team. Many were in awe of being in the Smith Center, much less being on the court with the Tar Heels.

"I'm a big Tar Heels fan and everything, and I love the Tar Heels," J.R. Fortune said.

"We've got the whole mix of fans here, but today, we're all Tar Heels," said Keith Fishburne, president and CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina.

Special Olympian Jarnell Parker, from Wayne County, said that he learned "drills and positions and how to guard and everything. That's a good experience for everybody."

"I've seen my players push a wheelchair with a young lady trying to bounce the ball on the side, and it's been great. I've also seen some guys try to come in and dunk on my players," UNC Coach Roy Williams said. "I've seen it from all levels, and I think they all enjoy it."

Williams has worked to make the UNC Special Olympics Hoops Clinic, in its 10th year, a UNC tradition.

"What our athletes get out of this is some basketball skills training but also that opportunity to interact with collegiate athletes like the caliber that UNC has," Fishburne said. "It's really special to all our guys."

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  • RIPSocrates Jan 15, 2013

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    That is rude. No matter how much you dislike UNC. This is a very good event to help people. You don't see me making fun of NC state even though %99 of their student would qualify for this event.

  • 75Tarheel Jan 14, 2013

    Special Olympics is a great program that I worked with for over 20 years at the local level in Sanford. I had more fun than the Athletes. What a great way for the UNC players to give back to their community.GO HEELS!!

  • kmor2013 Jan 14, 2013

    i volunteer at the special olympics and this awesome news......best thing in a loong time at chapel hill.

  • kornfan2448 Jan 14, 2013

    I'm glad they host this event. Seeing how much the Special Olympics athletes enjoy this event every year is awesome. The looks on their faces says it all.

  • 903 mens national championships Jan 14, 2013

    I'm glad Sassy finally got a chance to hoop it up in the Dean Dome.

  • kkevin7048 Jan 14, 2013

    U must be talking about the Tarhole mens BB team.They are special !

  • NHFD 4030 Jan 14, 2013

    Hey WRAL, how about we change this thread title? Horrible...

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