Every dribble, shot and pass was taken with pride.
Each basketball game was more meaningful than the numbers on the scoreboard. The games taught teamwork, helped build confidence and let players know they are special.
"The game is great. I like it here," player Greg Jackson said.
Jackson has been playing basketball for more than 30 years. He was one of 500 players participating in the MPS Special Olympics Basketball Classic. 46 teams from Milwaukee, Ozaukee and Washington counties went head-to-head.
"Every individual gets to play, whether they can shoot a basketball or dribble a ball, they get to play and their teammates help them out," MPS assistant recreation supervisor Jodie Theis said.
The games were just as fun for the fans.
"It gets the kids together and it gives them a chance to really get teamwork and interact with each other," fan Robert Lazo said.
"It's just amazing to see the positive reinforcement from the fans, parents and everyone," Theis said.
Teams will play in three additional tournaments before a state final.