BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The Moravian College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee hosted its Annual Special Olympics Basketball Tournament in Timothy Breidegam Fieldhouse Sunday afternoon with more than 40 participants from the Lehigh Country Special Olympics and Bethlehem City Special Olympics and over 100 Moravian student-athletes as the Greyhounds kicked off the 2017 D3Week.
This is the fifth year of hosting the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament at Moravian. SAAC advisor and Assistant Women's Soccer Coach Melissa Koster and Head Women's Volleyball Coach Shelley Bauder met with local Special Olympic coaches to help organize the tournament.
The day began with an opening ceremony with the Special Olympic athletes parading through a tunnel of the Moravian student-athletes from various squads.
"Yesterday was an amazing day," commented freshman women's basketball student-athlete Nadine Ewald. "I did Special Olympics in high school and to be able to do it in college brought back great memories. In the beginning of the event, the athletes recited a quote that was 'Let me win but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.' That quote stood out to me because winning isn't a priority for them. What matters most is being able to play the sport they love and trying their best. I was able to ref yesterday and it was inspiring to see all the athletes pat each other on the back if they made a mistake or if someone scored they would all congratulate that person. I think all athletes should volunteer for Special Olympics because meeting someone who enjoys your sport as much as you is the best feeling in the world."
Several games of both five-on-five and three-on-three were played with Greyhound athletes officiating, cheering, keeping score and playing some games with the Special Olympians. Moravian also had a pizza lunch for all of those in attendance after the games were finished for the afternoon.
"I thought the event was very well run and it was a great afternoon coming together as student athletes to watch these amazing athletes compete," stated junior men's soccer player Connor Phillips. "It was awesome to interact with the athletes and get to know them better and hear more about their stories. It was fun cheering on the athletes and see the excitement they got from the environment."
A photo gallery of the event can be viewed at http://moraviansports.com/general/2016-17/photos/0004/index.