2001-03-10 / Sports

Special Olympics Sees Hofstra Hoops Contributed by Joe Featherston

Special Olympics Sees Hofstra Hoops
Contributed by Joe Featherston

Several St. Camillus Special Olympics athletes recently attended the Hofstra versus Boston University men’s basketball game. Many of their parents and Monday night volunteer coaches as well as several St. Francis de Sales basketball coaches who came to watch local product, Kevin Fitzgerald, run the point for Boston University, accompanied them.

The Special Olympics athletes thoroughly enjoyed Hofstra’s hospitality. Assistant Athletic Director, Harold Starks greeted each of them individually, and Director of Promotions, Terry Ryan, provided them with tickets to the new, state of the art, 5,000-seat arena. They enjoyed the mini blimp, the cheerleaders, the dance team, the pep band and Hofstra’s exciting, winning brand of basketball.

The Special Olympics group chose to go to the game because of the presence of Hofstra’s opponent of Kevin Fitzgerald. Kevin began his playing career at St. Francis de Sales, and then continued it at St. Francis Prep High School and with the Gateway Bombers AAU team. His CYO coaches, Danny Edwards, Kevin Boyle, and Steve Stathis were justifiably proud as they watched Kevin direct his teammates from the point guard position against Hofstra. Kevin’s parents, Brian and Patty (who was a great scorer in high school), his brother Brendan, an his sister, Kaytlin, obviously also beamed as they saw Kevin compete. Several friends joined them including: Maureen, Danny, Jr. and Kathryn Edwards, Barbara Josephs, Kathy Stathis, and Mike and Ellen McGuinness. Kevin is still active locally. He plays in the Summer Classic at St. Francis, and he coaches and referees in Breezy Point’s summer tournament where he has developed a warm relationship with Terrence Burke of the Special Olympics.

Also in attendance on the Special Olympics bus were local playground legends, Kevin Boyle, Joe Kenel, John Ronayne, and Kevin McGack. They were amazed at the tenacious defense Hofstra played on Fitzie and realized that local former Hofstra varsity standouts Frankie Walker, Jim Shanahan, Matt Tucker, and Joe Larsen played at a different level than the playground heroes.

The St. Camillus athletes who attended the game included Evan Russell, Paul Fitzpatrick, James Flood, Elizabeth Sena, Patrick Tritscheler, Joseph Orban, Anthony Davis, Terrence Burke, Kevin Reily, and Timothy Mullally. Accompanying them were: Kathy Clarke, Jim McVeigh, Brian Boyle, Siobhan Keenan, John, Kyle, Janeen and Joey Featherston, Patrick and Peter Mohan, John Mullally, Seamus Kirk, and proud parents Rich and Jane Orban, Alice Burke, Eleanor Flood, Regina Clark, Cliff Russell, Miriam Comacho, and Frank Sena.

The Special Olympics’ group traveled to the game in grand style on a chartered coach driven by Eddie Wilmarth of the Broad Channel Volunteer Corps. They were treated to refreshments and to the great basketball movie, "Hoosiers", on the bus. They sincerely thank all their generous sponsors at the various fundraisers who paid for this wonderful excursion.

They are also proud to announce that the St. Camillus Special Olympics basketball team will play its first ever home game on Saturday, March 24, at 11:00 a.m. at the St. Camillus gym. Their opponent will be the ACDS All Stars of Plainview, Long Island. The athletes will be proudly selling tickets for $1 each to this event. They hope the community comes to this game to support them.

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