District 99 Special Olympics Basketball Teams Win State Tourney

District 99 Special Olympics Basketball Teams Win State Tourney

Members of two District 99 Special Olympics Basketball Teams (“D99 Hoops”) captured the championship in their brackets at the Special Olympics Illinois’ three-day basketball event tourney on March 17-19 at Illinois State University in Bloomington, Illinois.

Nineteen District 99 students played on two teams in the tournament; teams include a mix of students from North High, South High and District 99’s Transition Center. The students joined nearly 1,600 other Special Olympics athletes from across the state, representing 135 teams.

D99 Hoops athletes will be honored at South High’s all-school philanthropy assembly on Friday, March 24 starting at 2:15 p.m. South High student groups have been raising money all school year to donate to Special Olympics.

“At the assembly, everyone will see first-hand the positive difference Special Olympics makes in many people’s lives,” says Superintendent Dr. Hank Thiele, who attended the games. “D99 Hoops is a uniting force in our district—we are all exceedingly proud of the efforts and attitudes of these students and coaches.”

The District 99 Hoops teams include:

State Champs-Division 11 – D99 Hoops Team 1
Coaches Kevin Ahrens, Jack Cannon, Michael McGinnis


Anton Allen T99
John Anderson T99
Charles Huddleston T99
Demond Perry T99
Jose Rosario T99

State Champs-Division 4-D99 Hoops Team 2
Coaches: Arthur Drenth and Michael Folsom
Student Coach: Alexa Vitagliano
Student Manager: Brendon Harrison


Jeremiah Boatright South
Bradley Brennan North
Isabella Coloka T99
Jose Ferrer North
Philip Gonzales South
Tom Maloney North
Ziggy Markowski South
Antonio Murphy T99
Alexander Newell T99
Malik Nicholson T99
Othon Ramirez North
Raul Roman South

View photos here!

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for nearly 22,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and nearly 21,000 young athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support. See www.soill.org for more information.