Minot Hosts Special Olympics North Dakota

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Minot is hosting Special Olympics North Dakota's statewide basketball tournament for the 33rd year.

"Our athletes from all across North Dakota absolutely love Minot," said Kathy Meagher, President and CEO of Special Olympics North Dakota. "They love Minot because our volunteers are just some of the most hospitable people across the state of North Dakota and certainly people that enjoy basketball and know why our athletes are fired up because they love basketball."

"I make the baskets," Bismarck athlete Dave Johs said.

More than 480 athletes from 47 teams are competing in the two-day tournament. However, the athletes weren't the only ones having fun.

The referees for games held in the dome this morning were Minot State basketball coaches.

"I love it," said MSU men's basketball coach Dusan Radivojevic. "It's just a special feeling to help people with mental disabilities, see them having fun and enjoy playing basketball. That's my purpose for being here."

Five gyms across the city are being used for the tournament, and the community members giving their time say they are glad to help out.

"The only thing that is the most important is to see them being happy playing basketball," Radivojevic said.

When asked if they were having fun playing basketball, these two said:

"Yep! We make 3-pointers," twin Minot athletes Kim and Tiffany Coutts say.

The volunteer-based tournament provides an opportunity for these athletes to compete and overcome mental disabilities through competition.