Athletes prepare for Special Olympics tournament

Basketball players are putting their skills to the test in preparing for an exciting annual tournament.

Special Olympic athletes are gearing up for the Ishpeming Invitational Tournament on February 2nd.  They also have a state tournament in Escanaba the first weekend in March.

Teams from Marquette County and the U.P. will be participating.  Bob Marietti, a Special Olympics coach and director of the tournament, said the upcoming tournament gives players a chance to get playing time.

They practice one a week in Ishpeming.  Teams are based on skill level.  Boys and girls  varsity basketball players from Ishpeming High School volunteer to help coach the teams.

At practices, the athletes learn basketball fundamentals, teamwork, and staying active.  Marietti said it’s important for the athletes to stay active and keep a healthy lifestyle.