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A special thank you to Gary Fuller for writing this post on his experience competing at the State Basketball Tournament as a member of the Missoula Y Otters!

Athlete’s Oath: “Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” 

Hello, my name is Gary Fuller and I am an athlete with the Missoula Y Willy Otters Team. I’m also a Global Messenger & a Special Olympics Board of Directors member. I want you to tell you about the State Basketball Tournament that is held in Helena, Montana, and I want to inspire you a little bit about my experience during my last eight years of playing basketball and about my excitement for basketball.

When I first started basketball with the Y, my team was the C-Team and now it’s the B-Team. As a basketball athlete it gives me strength and energy to help myself and my teammates on the court. My coaches helped me throughout the years to “be brave in the attempt” no matter what the results are. Their names are Mary, Eric, Dawn, Kristy, Carson, Lochlin and Parker.

Once when I was playing in Great Falls I was fouled and got to make two free throws. I made both of them and I felt really good about myself because I didn’t know I was going to make them. Then in November 2015 I made a basket for two points then came back with a three pointer. I was so happy that I ran to my coaches with a high five and they were glad that I made them.

The Missoula Otters have been practicing hard every Wednesday and we have six teams going to Helena. The team I’m on is the B-Team and we have great coaches that are students from Loyola Sacred Heart High School. Their names are Parker and Bryan. I’ve been practicing three-point shots and sometimes I miss, but sometimes I make them. I’m so excited to participate in the 2016 State Basketball Tournament. I am looking forward to the travel and having lots of fun with my teammates and being near my fellow teammates around the state.

Finally, I wanted to say thank you to everyone that helps out to make basketball happen so we can have fun together.

Gary Fuller is a member of the Y’s Willy Otters Team and a Special Olympics Global Messenger and Board of Directors member. The 2017 State Basketball Tournament was held November 10–12 in Helena. Congratulations to all athletes who participated! We’re so proud of you.