Local middle schoolers play in 'Special Athletes Basketball Tour - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Local middle schoolers play in 'Special Athletes Basketball Tournament'

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Close to 70 of these talented, special needs students took to the court at Salk Middle School for the annual Special Athletes Basketball Tournament. Close to 70 of these talented, special needs students took to the court at Salk Middle School for the annual Special Athletes Basketball Tournament.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

"We have really talented kids," said Melaina Cole, a special education teacher at Sacajawea Middle School."

Close to 70 of these talented, special needs students took to the court at Salk Middle School for the annual Special Athletes Basketball Tournament.

"It's a great sport to play in summer or spring break time," explained one student, Courtney, from Glover.

"I get to show everyone my awesome moves," said Chyanne Mack, an 8th grader from Glover.

"Watching Gonzaga inspired me too," said Takoda Alexander, a 7th grader from Chase.

The energy in the gym was infectious as parents and friends cheered for each and every excited student athlete.

Coaches and teachers said this tournament was so important for their kids because it taught them about school spirit, working as a team, and provided a good source of exercise.

"As a teacher for students with special needs," said Ms. Cole, "I feel like it's really important for them to feel like they're a part of the school community."

"Watch their faces," said Scott Stuart, an adaptive physical education teacher. "The determination and joy that you see, it's pretty hard to match that."

And, the students seem to have the right attitudes coming into the tournament.

"It's a fun sport, it's not about winning, said Glover 7th grader Alex Fredenberg. "It's about having fun and just playing."

Taylee Guerrero summed it up nicely.

"Sacajawea," she said, "rock on."

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