Sports & Recreation

Adrian “AJ” Shortey participates in the Special Olympics Basketball Tournament hosted at Freemont Jr. High.

Community Member Plays Basketball in Arizona Special Olympics

By Richie Corrales
Au-Authm Action News

Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member Adrian “AJ” Shortey recently competed with his team, the Scottsdale Bobcats, in the 2013 Special Olympics Arizona Basketball Tournament. The games took place March 22 and 23 at Fremont Junior High in East Mesa. The team is a part of the adapted recreation services for youth ages 8 to 17.

“I thought it was actually a good experience because I got to see a lot of my old friends,” said Shortey. “We met some new people and I think we did function very well as a team. I am very happy that we won our last game. Griffin, who is on my team, turned out to really be a team player. He did a good job on the court. He helped us win the last game.”

The total of the scores for both days determines how the teams place in the tournament. “Right now we are 3-1, and so was the last team we played,” said Esther Reina, Shortey’s mother. “And today we were down by 5 points, but the good thing is that we get another try at winning the game.”

In the end, the Scottsdale Bobcats won silver in their division. “We did a great job. Not one person, but one team did it,” said Damien Morales, the Bobcats coach. They are now looking forward to next year’s Special Olympics.

Shortey has been on the Scottsdale Bobcats team for three years; next year will be his last year as a Bobcat. As always, Shortey looks forward to achieving gold.

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