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Fun on display at Special Olympics games in Oshkosh - Appleton Post Crescent

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Fun on display at Special Olympics games in Oshkosh - Appleton Post Crescent
Apr 15th 2012, 09:23

OSHKOSH — Scott Rosenberg did a fist pump much to the delight of supporters after he scored a basket Saturday at Kolf Sports Center at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

His fun didn't stop there.

The Oshkosh Blaze basketball player would soon gain more adulation after he made a free throw against the Hartford Hawks during a game at the 36th annual Special Olympics Wisconsin State Indoor Sports tournament. The games conclude today.

Fans wore their team colors and some even held signs of support while offering enthusiastic encouragement during the game won by the Hawks 28-26. Rosenberg, who scored 13 points, was not downcast in defeat.

He was just glad to be there and to compete.

"I'm happy with my performance and I had a lot of fun," Rosenberg said.

The gathering brought about 600 athletes from throughout the state to Oshkosh for basketball games, gymnastics and basketball skills. Fans and athletes could mingle and munch on food sold at the event and also purchase Special Olympics merchandise.

Although the athletes compete hard and want to win it's not all about the final outcome.

Blaze head coach Chelsea Berry said her squad tried its hardest and also had a blast playing against the Hawks.

"They always have fun," she said. "We had about three bleachers full of fans here and it meant a lot to the team."

Hartford Hawks head coach Dakota Witte said one of the major aspects of tournament play is it gives the athletes a chance to compete and have fun.

"As long as they are having fun," he said. "I've seen bigger smiles after losses than if we'd win."

Zach Cook, a student at UW-Oshkosh and a volunteer at the event, sat on the first row of bleachers at Kolf and held two air-filled plastic tubes with "Go Team" on each in anticipation for Saturday's basketball games.

"I'm here to show support for all of the teams," Cook said as he smacked the two tubes together. "I'm looking for some good basketball. I've heard there are a lot of good basketball players here."

Grafton resident Richard Best was at Kolf on Saturday to watch his grandson play basketball for a West Bend team.

"My grandson scored his first two baskets in the last tournament he played in and was as proud as he could be," Best said. "It's fun to watch their development and growth that goes on from game to game."

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