NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The NCAA Tournament is drawing basketball fans from all over the country to the Sprint Center, but there’s an inspiring local team of hoopsters preparing for a big game in a different venue.
The Northstars, a Special Olympics program affiliated with the North Kansas City School District, will compete at the Special Olympics Indoor Games in St. Joseph on Saturday.
“They come to a place that doesn’t judge them at all. They find a home. They find people who love them for what they are and treat them like any other kid,” said Pam Rohlfing, the district’s Special Olympics coordinator.
The Northstars started out small seven years ago with only seven basketball players. Now, with athletes competing in several different sports, it's the largest Special Olympics team north of the river.
Cheryl Craig’s son, Justin, plays basketball for the Northstars.
“It’s taught him that with special needs he can do anything just like normal kids can,” Craig said.
The Northstars will compete in several events on Saturday at the Civic Arena in St. Joseph.