Special athletes searching for support


Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Justin Jones

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. - They've got a team, they've got a coach, and they've got game, but what the Marshall County Special Olympics Basketball players don't have is a crowd cheering them on.

"Nobody hardly comes out and sees us," said Evan Miller, one of the 20 members. Miller is a huge basketball fan himself, especially of Paducah Tilghman, where he graduated from. But if he has to pick a second team, it's Marshall County.

"I just do the best I can to help Marshall and Tilghman because I really enjoy these two programs," he said. 

The only thing he loves more than cheering, is playing and he doesn't take that for granted. "I've been waiting to play on a team for 30 years."

He and the rest of his teammates are playing in the Special Olympics Winter Blast Tournament Saturday at Marshall County High School. What he would like more than a trophy is a packed gym.

"If I had a big crowd and these bleachers were pulled out and everything was full, it would be an honor," he said.

The first game will be played at 9:30 a.m. in the Main Gym with Marshall 1 taking on Murray.

Admission is free.

Here is the schedule:

Game 1:  9:30 a.m. - Marshall 2 vs. Murray Main Gym
Game 2:  10:30 a.m. - Christian Co. vs. Wky Allstars Main Gym
Game 3:  10:30 a.m. - Christian Co. 1A vs. McCracken Aux Gym
Game 4:  11:30 a.m. - Muhlenburg vs. Barren Co. Fire Main Gym
Game 5:  11:30 a.m. - Consolation 1 vs. Consolation 2 Aux Gym
Game 6:  12:30 p.m. - Barren Co. Flames vs. Marshall 1 Main Gym
Game 7:  12:30 p.m. - Christian Co. 1A vs. McCracken Hawks Aux Gym
Game 8:  1:30 p.m. - Winner 1 vs. Winner 2 Main Gym
Game 9:  1:30 p.m. - Consolation 3 vs. Consolation 4 Aux Gym
Game 10:  2:30 p.m. - Winner 3 vs. Winner 4 Main Gym
Game 11:  2:30 p.m. - Consolation Championship 3rd/4th place Aux Gym
Game 12:  3:30 p.m. - Winners Bracket Championship 1st/2nd place  Main Gym