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Teamwork and Fair Play Shine at 16th Annual Special Olympics Basketball Tournament

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

On Saturday, April 2, Marymount University held the 16th annual Special Olympics Regional Basketball Tournament.

It began with the parade of athletes to the music of Chariots of Fire. Eric Arntson, of the Arlington White Panthers, led the way with the Special Olympics banner. All assembled then joined in a special tribute to César Rojas of the Panthers, who recently passed away. He had been the tournament flag bearer for several years.

Before the games began, Bill Oglethorpe, chairman of Special Olympics Northern Virginia Area 26, presented Marymount President James E. Bundschuh, who is retiring at the end of June, with a plaque of appreciation “for your unwavering leadership and support of Special Olympics Athletes in Northern Virginia.”

The athletes, all from northern Virginia, demonstrated great skill on the court, and their team spirit and fair play were shining examples of good sportsmanship. When the games ended, The Loudoun Terminators had won in the senior division over the Arlington Blue Panthers.; the Timberwolves were third, and the Wizards fourth. In the junior division, Chantilly United won over the Arlington Panthers (white); the Titans were third, and the Lady Hawks fourth. All the athletes came away knowing they had given their best.

Organized by Marymount's Campus Ministry Association, the tournament is a much anticipated, campus-wide volunteer activity. Marymount students cheered on their adopted teams, participated in half time events and games, and enjoyed a day of camaraderie with the athletes. For senior Jonathan Kohn, a Graphic Design major, the athletes are all winners. He noted, “They love the game and have fun. You can’t win if you’re not having fun!”

Photo 1 - Eric Arntson of the Arlington White Panthers leads the Parade of Athletes, with Marymount sophomore Alishiya Kapoor, a History major, by his side. Marymount President James E. Bundschuh; his wife, Lois; and MU Director of Campus Ministry Father David Sharland, YA, follow.

Photo 2 - Alex Scolnick of the senior Arlington Panthers team drives the ball down the court in the championship game with the Loudoun Terminators.

Photo 3 - MU students cheer on the athletes.

Photo 4 - Bill Ogletree (right), chair of Special Olympics Area 26 (Northern Virginia) and son, Kevin, present an appreciation plaque to Dr. Bundshuh, Marymount’s president.

Photo 5 - Caroline Habliston, a Doctor of Physical Therapy candidate, congratulates David Church of the Panthers on the team’s second-place finish.