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Special Games to make return to basketball court
Pictured, from left, are Anna Ming, event organizer and McMinnville Special Games president Holly McBride, and Spenser Hill at a scrimmage to prepare for their month-long basketball competitions.

The McMinnville Special Games will be holding a series of basketball games throughout February at the Pioneer Community Church gymnasium (the old Northside School). This is the second year the event has been held thanks to last year’s success.

Event organizer Holly McBride said, “This year we have almost 30 players, all with a special need such as Down syndrome, autism, severe ADHD or being wheelchair bound.”

Every Saturday in February, the Special Gamers will play against a different organization in the community such as McMinnville Fire Department and Suncrest Home Health.

After each game, the special players will get a chance to play each other head-to-head.

“It takes a great deal of organization and lots of volunteers to make sure this program succeeds,” said McBride. She said that without the seven coaches and around 10 basketball buddies who volunteer to help with practices and games, the McMinnville Special Basketball League couldn’t happen.

Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. Concessions will also help 33459 fund the event with hotdogs, popcorn, cotton candy, candy bars, chips, pickles and drinks.

McBride said, “We encourage everyone in the community to come out and join us. Show these special men, women and children that McMinnville loves and supports them.”

Masks are highly recommended if you plan on attending. They will have “germ-killing breaks” during the games, wiping down all equipment and checking temperatures on the players and volunteers.

The first Special Game this year will be Feb. 6 starting at 10 a.m. where the athletes will play against McMinnville Fire Dept. These games will continue to be played every Saturday in February to give everyone a shot to be an athlete.

“It is very important to us that these special folks get to enjoy this program, but of course we want to do our part to keep everyone safe and healthy,” said McBride.