Everybody wins at Cahaba Classic

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 22, 2004

Inside the gymnasium of Wallace Community College Selma, there were loud cheers and applause as the crowd watched the intense basketball game being played on the court.

With each score the crowd grew louder, but most of them did not seem to care which team was winning. They were just enjoying a game they had been looking forward to all year.

Though the college’s basketball players were on the court, this was no WCCS game.

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The college was playing host to the fourth annual Cahaba Center Special Olympics Basketball Classic.

The teams were composed of clients of the mental health center, some of whom were proving to be pretty at the sport.

Each of the six teams participating in the Classic on Friday had stand-out players with Michael Jordan-like agility.

It wasn’t too surprising considering the teams’ rigorous practice.

“They have been practicing this for the entire year,” said Floyd Sanders, coordinator of the day training program at Cahaba Mental Health. “This is something they really look forward to.”

The three games played at WCCS on Friday were refereed and announced by the college’s own basketball players, who volunteered their time to participate in the Special Olympics Classic.

“Wallace has never charged us to use their gym,” Sanders said. “They’ve always let us use it for free, and we really appreciate that.”

In the first game of the Classic, Cahaba Day Treatment beat Cahaba B Team 37 to 33.

In the next round, Cahaba Place lost to Cahaba A Team 46 to 38.

The winners of the competition will go on to compete in the State Special Olympics Tournament on March 12 in Montgomery.

Though it didn’t really matter which team won or lost, because all the players did an outstanding job on the court.

The biggest supporters of the teams were the Cahaba cheerleaders. Dressed in matching outfits and excited demeanor, the cheerleaders did their best to get the audience riled up.

The local Special Olympics Track and Field competition will be held at the Memorial Stadium on March 17. Winners there will advance to the regional competition in Mobile the following week.

The next level of competition will the State Games at Auburn University on May 22.