NEWTON, KS (May 21,2014) – March Madness was in full swing at this year’s Special Olympics Kansas Basketball and Cheerleading Championship. Over 1200 athletes and over 400 coaches from 39 local Special Olympics chapters competed for a state championship. The talent from across the state didn’t faze the Powercats though, as they advanced to the championship to cut the net and bring home a win.
About half of the members on the Powercats team receive services from ResCare Residential Services in Newton. Executive Director Troy Rasmussen was proud of the team’s accomplishment.
“We are all very excited that the Powercats won the championship,” Mr. Rasmussen said. “We are extremely proud of this big accomplishment.”
Tristian Smith was one of the players who helped lead the Powercats to a win. The passion he holds for the sport is never-fading and he loves showing the crowd how much fun the game of basketball is. Mr. Smith has played on the team for a long time, creating memories along the way, but there is one moment he will always remember.
“Seeing all my friends and me playing against the other basketball teams and winning the championship will always be my favorite memory,” Mr. Smith said.
For Powercats player Trae Taylor, a surprise shot not only displayed his athleticism but became his most treasured memory from the 2014 season.
“I made a college three-point basket and didn’t even know it,” Mr. Taylor said.
Although his shot merited him super-star status, Mr. Taylor remains humble and explains that a big part of playing basketball is carrying the right attitude that the coaches and coordinators nurture.
“Having fun,” said Mr. Taylor. “That is the most important part of the game.”
Direct Service Professional Bev Plett has been coordinating trips to Special Olympics events for many years, and couldn’t agree more with Mr. Taylor.
“We make sure everyone is together and has everything they need,” said Ms. Plett. “We use positive interactions and encouragement to help get them in the zone.”
Even though the competition is stiff at this tournament, the coaches and fans always emphasize the importance of having a good attitude.
“We always cheer for all the teams and practice good sportsmanship,” said Ms. Plett.
Good sportsmanship, working together and playing basketball on the Powercats team is the real fun. Winning a state championship? That’s just the icing on the cake.
ResCare, with 40 years of experience, is one of the largest providers of in home care to seniors. Our caregivers provide elder care services, including housekeeping, telecare, recovery care for seniors living alone and respite care for families who provide full-time care to loved ones with conditions such as Alzheimer’s. ResCare also offers residential and support services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and provides education, vocational training and job placement for people of all ages and skill levels.
Author: Josephine Lee