By Shane Skeary
April 7, 2014
The entire Bobcats squad and Rufus teamed up with Bojangles to host a basketball clinic for over 100 Special Olympics Athletes of North Carolina on April 7, 2014 at the Carole Hoefener Community Services Center.
The day began with lunch for all the participating athletes, courtesy of Bojangles. After lunch, all athletes and spectators filed into the gymnasium and were introduced of the Bobcats players. The athletes were organized into teams and participated in several stations set up to teach them important basketball skills.
Players instructed the athletes on the value of practice and teamwork through passing, shooting, dribbling and defensive drills. Guard Gerald Henderson, the longest tenured Bobcat, said he has always enjoyed and looked forward to the annual event.
“(The event) is finally here and it’s great to get out there and have some fun,” Henderson said. “It’s pretty special, we’re guys they see on T.V. every night playing. It’s cool for them to come here and do what we do in practice.”
After the athletes spent time at each of the stations, they caught up with their favorite Bobcats players for pictures and autographs. Following a group photo, the athletes were given a Cats Care gift bag upon leaving.
Special Olympics athlete Jason Toot, was thrilled to play alongside his favorite Bobcats players and was pleased to see how much passion the players had for the event.
Jason’s father, Chris Toot, echoed his son’s excitement and said that the players’ involvement makes a significant impact on the athletes.
“If you look around here and see all the smiles on their faces,” Toot said. “That says it all!”