Nearly 50 teams gathered this weekend for the annual Special Olympics state basketball tournament.
It’s game time for the Special Olympics athletes. It’s a chance to show off their hard work and compete for that big win.
“Special Olympics is real. I always say, “You don’t have to guess: what you see is what you get.” Eric also is real, and I think that’s why it’s a good fit,” says Roy Musland, Coach for Jamestown Wizards.
Eric Besalda is an honorary coach for the Jamestown Wizards. His job is to hype up the team and keep them motivated.
“I try to pump them up a little bit, you know, “You’ve been doing a great job out there,” and stuff like that,” says Eric Besalda, Honorary Coach for Jamestown Wizards.
“When our team sees him come, they’re ready to play. He definitely adds a spark to our team,” says Musland.
When he started out with the team back in 2017, he had no idea what it would turn into.
“It started as a volunteer opportunity, because I play football, here, too. And it blossomed into something totally bigger,” says Besalda.
Working with the team has impacted him so deeply, that he decided to change his Major from nursing, to special education.
“Seeing them. They bring so much joy to my life and everything,” says Besalda.
And he hasn’t looked back.
“I love when I see young people can mentor and inspire people that are older, like me. People like Eric, and people like my team, keep me feeling young and keep me wanting to keep going and keep doing it,” says Musland.
And after three seasons together, they’ve become more than a team.
“1…2…3… Wizards!” says the team.
They’re a family.
And the team got their happy ending to this season. They took first in their division, winning their Championship Game 55 to 35.