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On Saturday, May 10, the Junior Varsity Springbrook Scorpions and the Varsity Saratoga Wildcats proved their basketball skills as they took the gold medals during Springbrook’s Invitational Special Olympics Basketball Tournament. The Springbrook Invitational marked the second time in the organization’s history that it hosted a Special Olympics tournament. With its modern, state-of-the-art, regulation-size gymnasium, The School at Springbrook is an optimal location for such an event.
During the Opening Ceremony, presented by Springbrook CEO, Patricia Kennedy, Scorpions Varsity teammate, Zaqwan Huntington, awarded Springbrook Board Member, Bill Mirabito, with a warm-up jersey in appreciation of the enduring support the Mirabito family has given over the years. Bill Mirabito has been a member of the Springbrook Board of Trustees for two years and was a member of the Springbrook Foundation Board prior to that. The Mirabito family has a history of being involved with athletics at Springbrook—from their annual Basketball Invitational sponsorship, to the trip to a Yankees game for over sixty Springbrook participants last August. In a show of continuing support for the Springbrook Special Olympics program, Mr. Mirabito also offered a generous financial gift to the team, to help with the cost associated with traveling to tournaments and maintaining equipment.
During the tournament, Bill Mirabito and Springbrook parent, Harry Martinez, acted as guest referees. The Springbrook Scorpions and two other teams—the Saratoga Wildcats and Pathfinder Village—participated with enthusiasm and energy. In game one between the Junior Varsity Springbrook Scorpions and Pathfinder Village, Pathfinder was in the lead until the second half, when the Scorpions scooped up the win 34-31. Later, in game two, Pathfinder won by two points, ending the game 32-30. In the end, the JV Scorpions took the gold medal, while Pathfinder got silver. Both Varsity teams played hard but the Scorpions weren’t able to close the score gaps against the Saratoga Wildcats, who won game one 36-13 and game two at 31-22. The wins earned Saratoga the gold medal, while Springbrook took silver.
The event also featured a JV and Varsity Springbrook Scorpions Individual Skills Competition, where competitors performed a series of basketball maneuvers within a given set of parameters. The day’s events culminated in a unified match, which included several members of the Hartwick Hawks Women’s Basketball team, joining in a game between the Varsity Scorpions and the Saratoga Wildcats.
Springbrook thanks the event sponsors: the Mirabito family, the Russell family, Chobani, The Daily Star, and Maines Paper and Food Service, for their continued support during this and other events. The organization also thanks the Springbrook Scorpions coaches—Jonathan Philby, Nicole Sokolowski, Ralph Bennett, and Robert Scanlon—for all of their dedication and hard work, as well as members of the Parent Council, such as scorekeeper Craig Keil, who volunteered their time to help make the event such a success.
The Special Olympics basketball season will soon be coming to a close as the Springbrook Invitational Tournament marks the final game for the JV Scorpions, while the Varsity team will play its last tournament at the New York State Special Olympics Tournament at the University of Buffalo on the weekend of June 6-8, 2014.