‘Celebrate his life:’ Basketball tournament honors Special Olympian, murdered in 2006

Brandon Sprewer Basketball Classic

MILWAUKEE -- It was bittersweet Sunday, Feb. 11 as hundreds had fun while remembering a young life, tragically lost. A special basketball tournament was held once again in his honor.

"We played really well as a team," said Molly Teitgen.

At Vincent High School, about 60 teams participated in the annual Brandon Sprewer Basketball Classic.

"For the past 12 years, we gather to celebrate his life," said Therese Whitty, recreation supervisor for "Team Milwaukee" Special Olympics.

Brandon Sprewer

Brandon Sprewer

Brandon Sprewer Basketball Classic

Sprewer, a Special Olympics athlete, was killed in 2006 during an armed robbery while he was waiting for the bus. This weekend, hundreds competed in remembrance of Sprewer and his favorite sport.

"He's a friend of mine and I went to grade school with him. He was on my team and I miss him very much. I feel good doing this in his honor," said John Avery.

Although the competition was fierce -- the goal was to shoot for sportsmanship.

Brandon Sprewer Basketball Classic

"He had a love for sportsmanship and competition. He was just really great to everyone he met. At the end of the day, win or lose, the big thing is they all have fun, work together and learn great team skills," said Whitty.

While these players defended Sprewer's legacy and positive attitude, the baseline of the tournament was to have understanding both on and off the court.

Brandon Sprewer Basketball Classic

"Realizing that no matter the skill level, no matter the cognitive level, no matter your background in this program, everyone belongs. Everyone gets something from it," said Whitty.