Inside the Newsroom

News, commentary, insight on local happenings and fun from the staff of The Saline Reporter and Milan News-Leader.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Special Olympics basketball is quite the game to watch

Tipoff between the Hot Shots of Oakland County and the Green Wasps
of Washtenaw County at Saline High School Saturday.

There can be a stigma to the phrase "Special Olympics."

Unfortunately, the events have seen some very negative connotation over the years. Crude jokes, insults, you name it, it's probably been said by people.

But many of those people haven't seen some of the athletes, and man, can they play.

I attended the regional tournament this past Saturday for basketball at Saline High School, which is for teams in southeast Michigan. My brother has competed in the games in different events for years. He's competed at the state summer games in Mount Pleasant, the basketball tournament in Saline and Grand Rapids and the soccer tournament in Warren. It's been very important to him and many of his friends, who he competes with.

The tournament for most teams is a four-team bracket: winners play winners, losers play losers. My brother, who competes for a team in southeast Oakland County, played against teams from Brighton and Saline Saturday. After losing an early match to the team from Brighton, he and his teammates played against the Saline Green Wasps, a game I was excited to see them play, since Saline is now my turf in my family.

Some of these athletes definitely play elsewhere, and are quick and skilled. They really can leave on the edge of your seat when you watch.

After being shut out fin the fourth quarter, my brothers team squaked out a win against Saline 29-27 (They play four 6-minute quarters). It's a fun event during the day at Saline High School, with many area teams and local high school students and referees volunteering their time on a Saturday in March.

In case your curious what gameplay may look like at an game like this, take a look at the sequence I captured on my phone. Saline is in blue and yellow, and southeast Oakland County is in white: 

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