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Ten years after his murder, Special Olympics athlete’s spirit lives on through basketball tourney

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MILWAUKEE -- It has been 10 years since a Special Olympian from Milwaukee was killed -- but his legacy lives on.

Brandon Sprewer

Brandon Sprewer

Brandon Sprewer was 22 years old in 2006 when he was murdered during an armed robbery while he was waiting for a bus.

Sprewer's spirit lives on, as hundreds gather annually to compete in a basketball tournament -- Sprewer's favorite sport.

2016 was the tournament's largest year, with 70 different teams competing.

Main Content Brandon Sprewer Classic - Special Olympics Team Basketball

Main Content
Brandon Sprewer Classic - Special Olympics Team Basketball

"This is the sport that everybody can participate in -- whether it be a low-level team or middle or high, so it gets everybody involved," Jodie Donabar, Milwaukee Recreation supervisor said.

Milwaukee Recreation's Special Olympics program is designed for individuals with intellectual disabilities. The program teaches good sportsmanship and responsibility -- two things Sprewer exemplified.

Main Content Brandon Sprewer Classic - Special Olympics Team Basketball

Main Content
Brandon Sprewer Classic - Special Olympics Team Basketball

"He was always the first to practice, always the last to leave, would help everyone," Donabar said.

"It`s a good memory to remember him by doing basketball and that`s why I keep coming back and playing basketball because of Brandon," Joseph Ford, a Special Olympics athlete said.

Ford said this tournament gives him confidence.

Main Content Brandon Sprewer Classic - Special Olympics Team Basketball

Main Content
Brandon Sprewer Classic - Special Olympics Team Basketball

"I think it actually feels nice to be a part of this organization, to have a lot of friends," Ford said.

The tournament's score keepers were volunteers from the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC's) basketball team.

"It brightens up my day just to see that it`s never -- no lows in their game. They always look like they`re having fun," Donabar said.

The two-day tournament was held at Milwaukee's Vincent High School.

Main Content Brandon Sprewer Classic - Special Olympics Team Basketball

Main Content
Brandon Sprewer Classic - Special Olympics Team Basketball

1 Comment

  • richard cranium

    i forgot about this story but now i remember how heartbreaking it was to read when it happened. iirc it happened on silver spring near the old jc penney outlet store. how unfortunate the city hasn’t learned anything from this 10 years later.

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