For kids all over Kentucky, the dream is to someday stand on the floor at Rupp Arena and shoot that game winning shot, hearing the crowd go wild and having a championship-winning player pat you on the back.
That dream came true for Special Olympics athletes as they took to the court at Rupp Arena in late February to take part in a skills clinic and a Blue and White scrimmage with former Wildcats Jack “Goose” Givens, Jared Prickett, Jon Hood, Marquis Estill and Anthony White.
“It was an awesome experience to see these kids get out and have a good time and show what they can do,” said Kentucky Education Commissioner Stephen Pruitt, who also took part in the Blue and White game as a special guest athlete. “I was honored to be a part of it.”
Before the game, Special Olympics athletes got to practice defensive drills, ball handling and shooting drills with the former Wildcats, getting to learn how to shoot like some of Kentucky’s greatest.
“This was John Wall’s favorite shot at UK, so you guys have to unleash your inner John Wall here,” said Givens during his shooting drill.
After the drills, the former Wildcats, Special Olympics athletes and special guests took part in a Blue-White game that ended in a 37-37 tie after two 20-minute halves. The guest athletes were split among the teams and helped organize the game.
“It was so much fun. I definitely felt like a Wildcat,” said Special Olympics athlete Ryan Barts.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) publishes Kentucky Teacher to communicate directly with the state’s 40,000 public school teachers. The stories of this award-winning publication include news, perspectives, and practical, workable ideas for guiding students to higher levels of achievement.