Category: Human Interest- Olympics

The Champaign Flyers:
by Dr. Jeffrey G. Bettger, Alice B. McGinty, Brendan M. McGinty

Chapter 9: Post-Season Banquet

Alice: It had been a wonderful season, full of triumphs and disappointments, wins and losses, and friendships and experiences which will stay with the players, coaches, and parents forever. The End of the Season Banquet was the formal closure of the season; a time to sum up all that had happened and a place to give recognition to all who had played a part in making the season a success.
Organizing the banquet involved several simple tasks. First I set a date and time for the banquet and then reserved a room in one of the Champaign Park District's buildings. Then, I created invitations using clip art and typesetting equipment from the Park District and sent them to the players, their families, the coaches, and several other individuals such as Kathy Scheltens and John Rutledge, who had helped the Champaign Flyers during the season. The invitations stated that the banquet was to be pot luck; the Blue team was asked to bring side dishes and the Orange team was asked to bring desserts. After checking with the players and coaches about their preferences for a main dish, we decided upon barbecued chicken, which I ordered from a favorite local restaurant. Overall, the banquet was relatively inexpensive, thanks to the help of the players and their families for providing most of the food.
For the highlight of the banquet, we decided to have an awards ceremony. Rather than nominating just one athlete as the Most Valuable Player on a team, we felt that all of the players had made important contributions to the team during the course of the season. So, in the true spirit of Special Olympics, we decided to give awards to all of the team members. Brendan, Jeff, and I made up one serious award and one joke award for each player.
The serious awards highlighted one positive contribution that each player made to the team: such as "Best Defensive Rebounder" given to Greg Winfrey and "Most Steals and Points" given to Dick Blume. The joke awards celebrated the individuality of each player, highlighting a humorous moment which they contributed to the season, or a humorous aspect of their personality or playing style. Brian Weakley received the "Bulldog Award" because of his intense facial expression as he played defense and as he rushed down the court in a breakaway attempt. Charles Brinegar won "The Opposing Teams Best Friend Award" for making baskets for the opposing team more than once during the season.
Brendan: After we finished deciding on which players would get which awards, my background in computers helped me to make home-made certificates. I had written a computerized NBA Basketball game previously, so I could now use several of the cartoon-like pictures of basketball players from that program for the certificates. I created a frilly outline on the screen, inserted some of the diagrams, then inserted the name of the award, the recipient's name, and a short description of what the award meant. I entered all of this on the computer screen and then used an option to print what was on the screen. It came out on normal typing paper, and then Alice copied it onto a colored piece of heavier card-stock paper. They looked professionally done and created an award that the players would be proud to show for years to come.

Alice: Although we felt that every player was important to the team, the Champaign Flyers did have a special tradition of presenting "The Most Improved Player Award." Each year one player is chosen by the coaches as showing the most improvement during the course of the season. This player is then given a small engraved plaque which contains their name, the year, and the words "Most Improved Player." The player's name is also engraved on a larger plaque showing each season's winner. This plaque is on permanent display at the office of the Champaign and Urbana Park Districts' Special Recreation Program.
Jeff: I suggested to Brendan and Alice that the winner of the 1987-88 Most Improved Player award be given to Eddie Cole because of everything he had done for the team on and off the court: the improvement of his basketball skills and physical conditioning, his excellent motivation and attitude, his wonderful sportsmanship, and the way he cared for his teammates. Brendan and Alice agreed.

Banquet--March 7, 1988
Alice: I arrived at the Douglass Annex, the building in which the banquet was to be held, a little more than an hour before the banquet was scheduled to begin. My car was loaded down with a TV, a VCR, paper plates, cups and other supplies needed for the banquet. I was not completely surprised to find several of the players already there at the building when I arrived, since many of them came early to most of the events during the season. Together we unloaded the car. I then took a few of the players to help pick up the barbecued chicken. When we came back with the chicken, an even bigger crowd was waiting. We all worked together to set up tables and get ready to begin. There was only one thing still left to do.
I had tried unsuccessfully several times in the days before the banquet to reach Ed Cole's mother. I knew that she would want to attend the banquet so she could be there when Ed received the Most Improved Player award. I tried calling one more time. Speaking quietly because Ed was already at the banquet and standing nearby, I told his mother about the award and asked if she could attend. She was delighted. John Rutledge volunteered to pick her up and in no time she was there, ready to share in the excitement of the awards ceremony.
Jeff: When I arrived, I was happy to see the athletes and their families all dressed up. Many people were already there and mingling at the long tables which had been set up. When Alice announced that the food was ready, a separate line was formed on each side of the long serving table. The choice of meats, vegetables, fruits, salads, and desserts was impressive. Looking at the amounts of food that the players had heaped on their plates, I thought to myself how glad I was that I did not have to feed this bunch everyday!
Alice: We were excited to have a videotape of the Paducah tournament made by the Weakly's. They had captured the entire tournament, including the games, dance, and free time. Because the tape was too long to play as a "feature presentation", we played it during the meal for people to watch.
Mrs. Murrell: The team and the parents really enjoyed this chance to see the team "on the big screen".
Alice: After everybody was finished eating, the coaches presented the certificates along with a story or explanation of each award. One at a time and with large grins, the players walked up proudly to receive their awards. Each player also received a copy of the team photograph. Amid the laughter and applause, this ceremony allowed everybody to relive the memories and celebrate the individuals and the moments which made the season a success.
Jeff: Here are some of the awards and explanations given that night. Mike Kearney's joke award was "The Most Innocent Look Award" for the way he looked at the referees after committing a foul. For a serious award, Becky Brown was given "Most Improved Fundamentals". Steve Jacob's joke award was "The Earliest Late Arriver Award" for telling us that he would be late for a practice and then showing up 30 minutes early. Rodney Martin received "The Coach on the Court Award" as his serious award for the many times he called timeouts for the coaches, directed players where to line up on the out-of-bounds play, and reminded the team how much time was left on the clock.
We saved the "Most Improved Player Award" for last. I explained that this award stood for more than basketball skill. It symbolized an athlete who was a true team player. When I announced that this year's recipient was Eddie Cole, everybody clapped as he came up to receive the award. I was happy that Eddie's mother was there to see this proud moment.
Besides being fun, I think that the end of the season awards were important for another reason. As should be clear by now, some athletes required more individual attention and encouragement from the coaches than did other players. Consequently, some athletes did not receive the day-to-day praise that they deserved. The awards ceremony was a nice opportunity to show our appreciation to the quiet athletes, such as Ed Cole, who had not demanded much of the coaches' time and who had been a positive influences on the entire team.
After all of the players' certificates had been awarded, the coaches received a surprise. The players presented each coach with a gift certificate and a Thank You card which contained each player's signature. Then, Brendan and I were each given a Special Olympics gym bag on behalf of the Champaign and Urbana Park Districts' Special Recreation Program. As Alice handed me the gym bag, I realized for the first time that Brendan and I had received praise throughout the season because we were volunteers. On the other hand, Alice's extra efforts often went unrecognized during the season because this was her job and she was being paid. From that moment on, I have been in awe of the cheerful unselfishness of Alice and of the other paid professionals I have worked with during Special Olympics events. Their efforts greatly exceed the pay and praise which they receive!
Alice: Looking back, the thing which I enjoyed most about my job with Special Olympics and the Special Recreation Program, was that it was so incredibly positive. I felt that I was helping to provide a much needed service to the disabled members of the community, and I felt that this service was very much appreciated. Let me explain why.
As is the case with all of us, going to work or school and then coming home to eat and sleep is enough to survive, but rarely is it enough to make us truly happy. For example, Jeff mentioned earlier that he had decided to volunteer as a coach because going to graduate school was not enough to make him happy. Similarly, Mrs. Murrell mentioned earlier that Scott's life would have been empty without Special Olympics. I feel that this was true to one degree or another for all of the Special Olympics athletes and clients of the Special Recreation Program. Whether it was Special Olympics Basketball or an afterschool crafts program, participation in these programs was extremely important as a part of a full and positive lifestyle for those involved.
We all have needs which are not fulfilled simply by working or going to school. These needs include socialization, a need for belonging, self-expression, exercise, and self-improvement, to name a few. For the majority of us, there are many opportunities to fulfill these needs, ranging from dating and going to social functions, to joining a health club, to taking continuing education classes. However, for those people with special challenges, the availability of resources is much more limited. Sometimes the barriers to these resources are physical (i.e., no wheelchair ramp leading into a building) and other times they are caused by our society's attitudes and priorities.
While new laws are alleviating the problem of physical barriers, the social barriers continue to exist. For example, if one of the Special Olympics athletes is interested in joining a community basketball league, he or she might find the competition too complex or too fast paced. He or she might also feel uncomfortable interacting with people who do not understand their different abilities. Another problem could occur if a Special Olympian wanted to join a health club. If they do join, a special athlete may feel uncomfortable if they are stared at or avoided. These barriers can be just as confing as physical barriers. Helping disabled people to overcome all of these barriers to leisure participation is a major focus of the Therapeutic Recreation profession.
Special Olympics and other Special Recreation Programs are extremely valuable, then, as they are resources which not only are available for individuals with special needs, but are specifically created for them. I believe that the participants in our programs were aware of this fact. I know that their parents were. The parents expressed their appreciation in many ways, from a verbal "thank you" to their smiles and expressions of enjoyment during activities. I very rarely had any problems motivating participants to become involved in activities; they were eager and excited to participate. Jeff mentioned above the fact that a paycheck was not enough compensation for the long hours and hard work involved in my job. If I was interested in a big paycheck, I most definitely would have chosen a different profession. I looked for and received many rewards from my job which were much more important to me than a large paycheck (although at the time, Brendan and I were trying to live off of that paycheck.) Between the wonderful group of people I met and the feeling that I was providing an important and much appreciated service to the community, the rewards were plenty.
Jeff: As the banquet came to a close, pictures were taken, last pieces of dessert were eaten, and final handshakes and hugs were exchanged. Alice's final announcement of the season was to encourage the players to participate in the Spring and Summer Special Olympics programs (track and field, softball) so that they could stay in shape for basketball next year. As I walked to my car, I overheard Marvin predicting that next year would be a championship season and that he would again win the Highest Scorer award.
The End of Season Banquet had shown me that the secret to our coaching success had been threefold: 1) we had insisted that the athletes always do their best on and off the court, 2) we, the coaches, had always tried to do our best on and off the court, and 3) most importantly, we cared about the players as people, not just as athletes.
Mrs. Kearney: Jeff Bettger, Brendan and Alice McGinty made a group of people into a team. The friendship and love between the coaches and team was dynamic.
Mrs. Weakly: What comes to mind most about that season is that it was our first experience with Special Olympics and probably our best except for the Track and Field that same year. I tend to think Alice's involvement in both and the exceptional coaches both contributed.
Brian has participated in Bowling also and would like to do swimming. With Bowling and Track & Field, the same parents and athletes were involved, but things were not as close. I think the basketball games, practices, and the trip to Paducah made the group a closer bunch. This is possibly due to the fact that basketball is a team sport and more time was spent together than in other events. I think that the keys to the successful season were organization, friendliness, and making each athlete feel important.
Mrs. Whittle: Brad's involvement in Special Olympics basketball was a positive experience for our whole family. We appreciate the coaches' time and effort spent working with the athletes and the acceptance demonstrated by everybody involved. We remember this experience as a highlight of our time in Champaign and thank you for this.
Alice: I would like to add a few lines here as a thank you and a tribute to the supportive, involved parents of Special Olympians. Having worked in a variety of settings with families and children, I have seen firsthand the benefits which are reaped by a child, especially one with special needs, from having an involved, caring and supportive family. I have seen too often the problems which occur when the family is not involved and dedicated to their children. The difference is phenominal.
Involved families foster children who are more secure. They are willing to take risks and try new things. I feel that it is even more essential for the child with special needs to have an involved family because the child's needs are so specific that the parents, who know them best, are able to understand and meet his or her needs. Having one's needs met in a stable and caring environment is emotionally essential for the development of security and self-confidence. As far as taking risks is concerned, the special child must face even more risks and hardships, both physically and emotionally, than another child might. The more security, confidence, and support they have on their side, the more prepared they will be to take these risks.
On a more practical note, parents of a special needs child are also invaluable as advocates for the child. As the Kearney's mentioned before, they needed to move Mike into a school program more suited to his needs. Since Mike was unable to speak up for himself (as he most likely did not understand what was wrong), his parents acted as advocates for him when they arranged the transitition with his teachers. A less involved family may not have taken the time to recognize the problem and take the necessary steps to correct it.
Since Brendan and I have recently become parents ourselves, we realize the incredible amount of time and complete dedication it takes to be a parent. Being a good one takes even more time. This must be especially true if the child has special needs. We, as coaches who work with the children and adults whom you have worked so hard to raise well, would like to express our appreciation to you, the caring and supportive parents of these athletes. Because of you, they have come a long way.

Jeff: As the season officially ended, I felt that I had been amply rewarded for my coaching efforts: 1) I had met many great athletes and coaches from around the state and the country, 2) I had shared a fantastic adventure with new friends, 3) I had experienced many special moments, and 4) I had found a surrogate family.
In return for their efforts, I felt that the players had been rewarded with: 1) physical conditioning, which is important for mental, physical, and emotional health, 2) an enjoyable event to look forward to twice a week, 3) an opportunity to be a leader, and 4) the increased confidence which accompanies a successful experience.
The greatest thing about Special Olympics, however, is that the benefits continue for both coaches and athletes even after the season is over. For the players, the confidence and discipline gained during the season is transferred into other parts of their lives.
Mrs. Brinegar: This year has been a high point for Charles for he feels he has finally learned the game of basketball and how to play his position. This has given him a sense of accomplishment.
Also Charles has lost over 20 pounds this year. The pounds came off not only because he was watching his diet but because he exercised going to the Champaign Park District fitness program throughout the year. Charles is very proud of his weight loss and is determined to maintain his current weight. I am very proud of him as are his brothers and other family members.
Charles' self-discipline about his weight loss program, I think is attributable to his competing in Special Olympics and his desire "to be the best that you can be." Charles takes the motto seriously and it shows up in other ways--one of which was a job change which he was able to get the courage to do this year. Now Charles has a full time job with important benefits such as health insurance. He has gained recognition from his employer for his work on his job.
Jeff: For the coaches, the enduring benefits of Special Olympics are the friendships made during the season. For example, after the season I often met many of the players at the bus stop. On several mornings, I saw Charles in his white shirt, black dress pants, and black shoes waiting for a connecting bus to take him to work. I cannot think of a better way to start a day than to see Charles' shy smile and wave.
On other mornings, I saw Dick Blume sitting at the back of the bus, lunch pail in hand, ready for another day of work at the Developmental Services Center.

Jeff: "How's it going DB?"
DB: "Fine."
Jeff: "What did you do last night?"
DB: "I watched basketball on TV. Next year we are going to take it all. I think we can all play better. If we try harder and shoot like this. . . ."
Jeff: "This is my stop. Have a good day at work, DB."
DB: "OK, bye."
In the Spring, as I was driving home from the grocery store, I would see somebody who looked very familiar walking down the street with his radio earphones on. It was Richard.

Jeff: "Richard! What are you doing?"
Richard: "Going over to my sister's house to watch the Cardinals baseball game."
Jeff: "Need a ride?"
Richard: "No, its just down the street."
Jeff: "What's new?"
Richard: "I almost won the lottery last night. I knew I should have stayed with that 2 and 5!"
Jeff: "See ya later, Richard. Stop by sometime and we'll order a pizza."
Richard: "Sounds good."
Perhaps the best long-term reward of Special Olympics, however, is when I walk by my bookshelf at home and see the team photographs displayed on the top shelf. I always smile when I see Eddie and me with our arms around each others shoulders. Not just friends, but brothers. And then I see the rest of my Blue team, the other coaches, the members of the Orange team, and Brendan and Alice. Not just friends, but family.
In conclusion, we feel that this book has served its purpose if we have cleared up old misconceptions and made you, the reader, look at a special portion of our population in a new light. Remember, the next time you see an assembly worker, dish washer, dock worker, or printer's helper sitting at a bus stop, that person might also be a basketball champion!


Jeff: So many things happened during the next year that we could probably fill up another book, but the following are a few of the highlights.
First, Brendan graduated from the University of Illinois and was offered a summer position in Sweden. Before Brendan and Alice left, the players and coaches got together for a farewell pizza party. After returning to the United States from their Summer adventure, Alice and Brendan moved to Georgia. Brendan was offered a managerial position for a large scientific company and Alice was offered a job in a psychiatric hospital working with children. Of course I was happy for Brendan and Alice's exciting career opportunities, but at the same time I was sad because I knew that they would not be back for the next season with the Flyers.
As the Fall of 1988 approached, Steve Cain called me on the phone about a million times asking if I was going to coach again. At first I was not going to because I was busy trying to finish my Master's thesis and because I thought that the next season could never be as much fun as the previous season had been. Nevertheless, I was there on the first day of practice and I am glad that I was! I realized that the important thing was the time spent with the athletes, not whether the season turned out to be more fun than the previous seasons. In other words, the fact that the journey was being made together was the reward, not the final win-loss record. I slowly discovered how much the players and I enjoyed being a part of the team and how much we grew because of it. I also realized over the years that when I am coaching Special Olympics, I am the person that I would like to be all of the time: happy, caring, open-hearted, committed, attentive, and energized.
During this third season, I decided to try coaching the Orange team. With the help of a new assistant coach, Greg Mathews, I tried to follow in Brendan's footsteps. I left the Blue team in the capable hands of Joanne, Jaime, and another new coach, Scott Eisenhauer. Meanwhile, John Rutledge (who had coached the Orange team during Brendan's and my first year) had become the Illinois Area 8 Special Olympics Coordinator. The 1988-89 Flyers were particularly lucky that Alice's position had been filled by another excellent person, Sue McCabe. After seeing how well both Alice and Sue managed the teams, I want to reiterate that a positive and energetic attitude from the people in charge greatly influences the attitudes of the players and contributes to the overall success of the season. Also, the players knew that both Alice and Sue put forth more effort than was specified by their jobs and that both of them cared deeply for each person on the team.
The team lineups during 88-89 remained pretty much intact except for the Blue team. The Bulldog and Ernie decided to pursue other athletic endeavors and Vonna decided to retire from the game. Brad Whittle moved back to Canada and Randy was advised against playing because of physical reasons. Clearly their athletic abilities and smiles were missed. However, the Flyers Blue team gained three new players. George Miller, Ryan Dill, and Carlos Lockett joined and quickly became valuable team members on and off the court. The Orange team also gained a new player--Mark Brown. Mark had Richard's basketball skills and knowledge, Keith's natural athletic ability, and Arm's desire to win. Of course there were some initial problems with Mark and Arms as they tried to prove to each other who was the best individual player on the team, but as I said before, it would take another book to tell all of those stories. Any fantasies I had about being a "Perfect Coach" soon disappeared as I realized how many situations I could have handled in a better way and how much more I could learn about coaching.
During the season both teams won many of their games, we played during the halftime of Illini games, and we raked leaves again. I was happy to see that the Blue team started the season with many of the skills they had possessed at the end of the previous season (but yes, Eddie Cole and Charles did shoot at the wrong basket again, and no, DB did not play defense under the basket). Thanks to Brendan's coaching the year before, I inherited a very smart and talented Orange team. Shoes, Stevie, Scott, Mike, and Keith were noticeably confident on the court and provided reliable depth to our team. Richard, Rodney, Greg, Marvin, and Mark were a joy to watch play. They routinely played inspired defense, stole the ball, and then ran a picture-perfect fastbreak. I think that it would be fair to say that many of their no-look passes and pump-fake layups were absolutely genius!
For example, during one of the first games of the season, Mark rebounded the ball under the opponents basket and then noticed Greg standing underneath our basket (having just gotten up after falling down). Mark then quickly ROLLED the ball down the court to Greg, who easily picked the ball up and gently shot it in our basket. My first thought was that Mark was either trying to show off or that the ball had slipped out of his hand. But then I realized that if Mark had thrown a "baseball" pass to Greg the entire length of the court, Greg might have had difficultly catching such a hard pass or the ball could have bounced over this head. So, in a split second, Mark had surveyed the situation, evaluated the alternatives, and then perfectly executed his creative plan.
The Blue team won the District Tournament (Becky Brown scored six points in one of these games) and qualified for the State Tournament. The Orange team, on the other hand, again lost a very close game to Lincoln in their division of the District Tournament. As you might have guessed, many of the team members were not too happy about it and blamed the referees and each other for the loss (I guess some lessons are harder to learn than others). However, once again the season ended on a high note for the Orange team at Paducah.
Because of our leaf raking efforts, we could afford to go to the Paducah Tournament again this year. As we loaded the vans for the drive to Kentucky, I learned that Mike Kearney had been up since 5:00 a.m. shooting baskets for extra practice. With the addition of the talented new players, both teams were placed in a division one higher than the year before. The Blue team was clearly outmatched and consequently lost both of its games. The highlights of the tournament for the Champaign Flyers were the Orange team's first two games.
In the first game, the two teams were evenly matched and we found ourselves in double overtime. Thanks to great defensive play by the entire team, we were only down by two points with under a minute left in the second overtime. Greg then tied the score with a jump shot. After a time out by each team, Mark Brown stole the ball with 5 seconds left, dribbled down the court, and put in the layup for the win at the buzzer. Everybody on the team hugged and mobbed each other at half court. After the disappointment of losing at Districts and after all of the tension and suspense of this game, it was certainly nice to win!
In the second game, we faced a very tall, athletic team dressed in brand-new sweats. After watching this team during the warm-ups, several of our players said to me, "We don't have a chance." However, by halftime we had a ten point lead thanks to Mark's scoring and his incredible number of offensive and defensive rebounds (perhaps the single greatest effort by an individual player that I have ever seen)! He was pushing himself so hard that I had to take him out several times for rests so that he would not make himself sick. During the second half, the other team came back strong and tied the score. However, when the pressure was on, Rodney and Richard led the team with composure and unselfish play. With 15 seconds left, Keith pulled down an offensive rebound and made an off-balance bank shot to give us a two point lead and the win! What a thrill to win two such close games back-to-back!
Upon reaching the Championship game, we had hopes of defending our title. However, we faced a much taller team. After the emotional and physical intensity of the previous two games, we started the game tired and ultimately lost by a large margin. Nevertheless, we were happy to hold the second place trophy on the way home.
After the Blue team won third place at the State Tournament, the season was over. We again had an End of the Season Banquet to celebrate. Awards were given to the players, I received a basketball with everybody's autograph on it, and nobody left hungry.
Two significant things happened to me personally during this season. First, I decided to follow my academic advisors the next year to Rochester, NY to finish my Ph.D. This meant that this third season with the Champaign Flyers would be my last. So, during the End of the Season Banquet, I told the Flyers, "If nothing else, I have always tried to encourage you to be the best that you can be. For me to be the best that I can be in my academic field, I have to move to Rochester."
The second significant event occurred when I asked Brendan and Alice to write this book with me. So many of my school friends, neighbors, and relatives had asked me about Special Olympics that I realized that the general public had many misconceptions about Special Olympics. I thought that a book was needed to explain the many aspects of Special Olympics that Alice, Brendan, and I had experienced with the Flyers. A more personal reason for wanting to write this book was to preserve all of the special memories for myself and for everybody associated with the team.
In retrospect, each of my three seasons with the Champaign Flyers was very different, as was each practice, and each game. As a coach, I learned to appreciate the unique challenges and opportunities presented by each new situation. Of course there were some days when I felt that nothing positive was being accomplished. However, when I look back at the three seasons now, I realize that our greatest accomplishments were the long-term friendships made, the responsibilities and fun times shared, and the confidence gained.
Special Olympics is a rare opportunity for volunteer coaches because volunteers continue to receive more satisfaction as they allow themselves to become more and more involved. The team members' struggles become your struggles, but their triumphs become your triumphs. I felt that I had made a significant impact on the players' lives when they began to confide in me during those times when they just needed someone to listen to them. If I had not decided to coach, I would have missed out on many cherished moments.
In closing, the future of Special Olympics depends upon the support, involvement, and understanding of people like you. The quality of everyday life afforded to Special Olympics athletes depends on the willingness of employers to hire these determined people and on society as a whole to accept them as people who succeed, fail, laugh, cry, and hunger for respect just like everybody else.

Oct. 11 First practice

Nov. 14 Leaf raking
Nov. 16 Watch Illinois Varsity Basketball Practice

Dec. 11 Orange vs. coaches and friends -- Douglass
Dec. 12 Blue vs. Piatt (23-42) -- halftime
Dec. 19 Blue vs. Danville (25-42) -- home

Jan. 8 Orange vs. Bloomington (20-40) -- halftime
Jan. 14 Blue vs. Bloomington (34-31) -- away
Jan. 14 Orange vs. Bloomington (32-49) -- away
Jan. 20 Blue vs. Charleston (19-22) -- away
Jan. 20 Orange vs. Paris (48-31) -- Charleston
Jan. 29 Orange vs. coaches -- Leonard

Feb. 6 Blue District Tournament -- Bloomington
Feb. 6 Orange District Tournament -- Bloomington
Feb. 10 Brendan gets "Volunteer of the Month"
Feb. 15 Blue vs. Danville -- away
Feb. 17 Orange vs. Piatt (37-31) -- Douglass
Feb. 24 Tony Y
Feb. 26-27 Paducah Tournament

March 7 Banquet and Awards ceremony

1987-88 Champaign Flyers Awards

Flyers Blue Team

Vonna Barthelemy--The No Guff Award

Dick Blume--Best Michael Jackson Imitation
Most Points and Most Steals

Charles Brinegar--Mr. Nice Guy Award
Tower of Power Defense

Becky Brown--Best Cheerleader
Most Improved Fundamentals

Edward Cole--Freight Train Award
Best Team Player

Zach Crowell--Best Expression
Best Passer

Randy Eads--Mr. Mellow Award

Ernie Watters--Best Mingler

Brian Weakly--Best Defensive Growl

Brad Whittle--Best Charge Taker

Flyers Orange Team

Steve Cain--Biggest Hack (Cougher)
Best Corner Jumper

Steve Jacobs--Earliest Late Arriver
Best Bounce Passer

Mike Kearney--Most Innocent Look
Best Long Range Shot

Rodney Martin--Biggest Hack
Coach on the Court

Rick Miller--Natural Athlete

Scott Murrell--Most Valuable Alarm Clock
Best Hustle

Keith Schweighart--Wildman Team
Most Aggressive

Marvin Strader--All-Arms Squad
Highest Scorer

Greg Winfrey--Hardest Head
Best Rebounder

Richard Zink--Wildest Shot of the Year
Most Complete Player

ABA--Former professional basketball league: American Basketball Association. No longer in existence.
Air ball--A shot that hits neither the rim nor the backboard, and is not blocked.
Base line--The out-of-bounds line under each basket.
Block out--Using the body to achieve better position for a rebound.
Bounce pass--A pass bounced off the floor from one player to another.
Center--Typically the tallest player on the team, usually stationed near the basket.
Chest pass--A two-handed pass executed from the passer's chest to the receiver's chest.
Dribble--Bouncing the ball to yourself to retain possession or to advance the ball.
Dunk (Jam)--A shot thrown down through the hoop with great force.
Fast break--A fast play used when offense has more players on their side of the court.
Forward--Player typically between center and guard size, stationed near the basket.
Free throw--A 15' shot with no defenders given to a player after being fouled.
Guard (point guard)--Usually a shorter player who has good ball handling skills.
Jumpshot (jumper, J)--Usually a far shot taken as the player jumps in the air.
Hack--a hard or flagrant foul.
Hook shot--a one-handed shot made in an arc-like manner.
Lane--The area marked between the baseline and the free throw line.
Layup--a shot from directly under the basket.

Mainstreaming--including disabled individuals in programs or classes which are open to the general public.
Man-to-man defense--Individual players assigned to guard one player defensively.
NBA--National Basketball Association.
Pump fake--Faking a shot or pass in an attempt to trick the defensive player.

Press--Applying defense the entire length of the court as the offensive teams brings the ball from out-of-bounds usually after a basket.

Reaching-in foul--A foul called after a defensive player's unsuccessful attempt to steal the ball from a dribbling offensive player.
Rebound (board)--Catching the ball after a missed shot.
Rejection/Blocked shot--A shot attempt that is blocked away by a defensive player.
Set shot--a shot taken without jumping in the air.
Three-pointer--A long distance shot (21' or more in Special Olympics) worth 3 points.
Three-point play--A scored basket with a foul, followed by a made free throw.

Trap--Two defensive players guarding the offensive player with the ball in an attempt to steal the ball.

Top of the Key--The top point of the circle around the free throw area approximately 21' from the basket.

Zone defense--Stationary defense where defensive players are responsible for guarding specific areas of the floor.


Barthelemy, Vonna

Bloomington, IL

Blume, Dick

Brinegar, Charles

Brown, Becky

Brown, Mark

Cain, Steve

Champaign-Urbana, IL

Cole, Edward

Crane, Max

Crowell, Zach

defensive layup
defensive stance
fast break
over-the-top rebound

Eads, Randy

Family support:

Jacobs, Steve

Kearney, Mike

Koebl, Jaime

Martin, Rodney

Matson, Joanne

McCabe, Sue

Miller, Rick

Murrell, Scott

Paducah, KY

Rutledge, John

Scheltens, Kathleen

Schweighart, Keith

Smith, Walt

Special Olympics International

Strader, Marvin

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:
Assembly Hall
Fighting Illini Men's basketball team

Watters, Ernie

Weakly, Brian

Whittle, Brad

Winfrey, Greg

Wysinger, Tony

Zink, Richard

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