Fans Cheer On Athletes At Special Olympics Basketball Games

The Teams Will Be Heading Off To The State Tournament In Minot On February 28th.

FARGO, N.D. — Athletes of all abilities hit the floor to show off their basketball skills in front of packed bleachers in two separate gyms at the Agassiz School in Fargo.

The day includes skills challenges to test their prowess in dribbling and bounce passes, as well as exhibition games from multiple teams.

“You see the smiles on the athletes and you see when they get their awards, they don’t care whether they got first second or third, they are going to be happy with it and that they did their best,” Volunteer and former basketball coach David Schmidt said.

Dave Schmidt has been a familiar face around the organization as he’s spent countless years working alongside the athletes in multiple different sports.

He says the sense of community among them is like a big family.

“When these athletes come up and they say they like you, they mean it.

It’s very heartwarming to get that kind of feeling going,” Schmidt said.

Sometimes the meaning is literal as his son Jim Schmidt plays for the team and his son Eric Schmidt is one of the head coaches.

“He’s been in this organization for 30 years and I haven’t been in it that much, but I have a large set of shoes to fill but I’m up for the challenge,” Eric said.

Eric who put all his heart out on the court for his team says the athletes give it their all.

He says he would love to see more families get involved.

“For a parent, or just a sibling to hear them, you know my brother talks about Special Olympics all the time and it’s his life I mean plays every sport that is out there,” Eric said.


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