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Special Olympics athletes participate in basketball clinic at UNC-Chapel Hill

Harrison Young at Tarheel camp2As the Special Olympics World Games are almost set to begin Jan. 25-Feb. 4, dozens of Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) athletes have also been practicing for their regional state games. SONC basketball players from across the state were selected to meet their UNC-Chapel Hill Men’s Basketball team counterparts recently.

Brian Shaff, Elliot Schmehl, and Harrison Young,  of Albemarle, were among 100 Special Olympic North Carolina (SONC) basketball athletes who received tips and skills training from UNC-Chapel Hill’s Men’s Basketball team and Coach Roy Williams earlier this month at the Smith Center on the Tarheel’s campus. The 10th annual, two-hour clinic featured stations focused on passing, dribbling and shooting.

“I had a blast,” exclaimed Schmehl who plays point guard for the Stanly County Special Olympics basketball team. “I learned to dribble, shoot and do layups better. I met people from a lot of different places.”

Eliot Schmehl at Tarheel camp2Schmehl said he also met his Tarheel point guard counterpart Marcus Paige, who gave him an autograph. Paige and his UNC teammates signed autographs for Schmehl, Shaff and the other visiting athletes.

Coach Williams brought the tradition to UNC 10 years ago, which he started and continued for 15 years while he coached at the University of Kansas. Athletes will put their skills to good use as they prepare for the 2013 SONC Basketball & Cheerleading Tournament in March in Mecklenburg and Johnston counties.

Click here to be directed to a video of the 2013 Special Olympics NC-UNC Tar Heels Basketball Clinic  and see footage captured from that big day.

Pictured: Harrison Young goes to the basketball (top) and Elliot Schmehl gives Tarheels player a high five.




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