Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community member and eighth-grade Kino Junior High student Adrian “A.J.” Shortey has started practicing and playing in league games so he and his basketball team, the Junior Bobcats of Scottsdale, can get ready for the Arizona Special Olympics basketball tournament March 22 and 23.
Throughout February and early March, Shortey and the rest of the Junior Bobcats have been playing games in the gym at Webster Elementary School in Mesa. The team has been playing against teams from all over the Valley and also several from up north. Shortey’s team has been playing exceptionally well, winning most of their games.
This year marks the third time Shortey will participate in the Arizona Special Olympics. His first time was in March 2011, where his team won gold for the first time.
He and his family are looking fans to support the team as they make it to the tournament.
“The team is good,” said Shortey. “Players Frankie and Griffen are especially good.”
Last year, the Scottsdale Junior Bobcats won a gold medal and also a bronze medal.
“I feel like the team works well together, and I think that is why we have won so many games,” said Shortey.
This year Shortey looks forward to working hard toward the gold medal.
“Please come and support me and my team as we go for gold,” said Shortey.
Game locations are still in the planning stages, but for more information contact Shortey’s mother, Esther Reina, at (480) 362-7400, or Bobcats coach Maricella at (602) 459-0121.