Teams faced-off this Sunday at the Special Olympics Virginia basketball tournament in Blacksburg.
If you were sitting in the seats inside of the Cassell Coliseum, you couldn't help but cheer on these players. This is the 25th year that the Southwest Regional Basketball Tournament has been played at the coliseum.
“Oh, it's fun interacting with everybody is great. I definitely enjoy passing and shooting,” said athlete Tyler Schuster.
The court stayed busy as 24 Special Olympics teams from across the commonwealth competed for a chance to go to the state championship. Schuster has cerebral palsy; he says he doesn’t let his disability limit them.
“It doesn't stop me at all. How I perform, my intensity; how I approach the game, I just go in and play my heart out, said Schuster.
With brave hearts and love for the sport, athletes learned from their coaches and supporters.
“Our athletes find out that they are much more capable then they thought. They may have come into the program thinking, I don't know, I don't play basketball or I don't play volleyball,” said Special Olympics Virginia Southwest Regional Director Nancy Morehouse.
“This is a place where everyone is included and everyone is a part the team and no one is left behind,” said Erik Gelhausen.
When players leave the court they feel more confident in themselves and in the sport of running, 3-pointers, and slam-dunks.