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Courtesy: Athletics Communications

Cyclones Proud to Assist Special Olympics

Release: 05/26/2009
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AMES, Iowa - Iowa State student-athletes lent a helping hand at the 2009 Iowa Special Olympics this weekend in Ames. Cyclone student-athletes from men’s and women’s basketball, football and soccer took advantage of the opportunity to interact with the more than 3,000 Special Olympians participating in the annual event.

ISU star basketball player Craig Brackins helped kickstart the games Thursday evening as the guest of honor at the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies in Hilton Coliseum. Brackins greeted the athletes as they entered, posed for photos and declared the opening of the games in front of the more than 5,000 people. It was a special moment for the All-Big 12 forward.

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“I don’t think words can describe the feeling I got when I saw all of the Olympians’ smiles,” Brackins said. “It has to be one of the top memories of my life. I’ve done some pretty good things, some pretty cool things, but being involved in this event was just something that you can talk about for years and years.”

Members of the ISU men’s and women’s basketball teams had a great time shooting hoops and demonstrating skills to the Olympians Friday morning. Senior All-Big 12 guard Alison Lacey thoroughly enjoyed her first time assisting at the Special Olympics.

“It is the first time I’ve been able to help out in this event,” Lacey said. “Just to be able to get out in the community and meet kids, help rebound for them, it’s a lot of fun.”

ISU sophomore forward L.A. Pomlee echoed Lacey’s thoughts.

“It’s really fun helping the athletes learn skills,” Pomlee said. “This was my first time helping out and it was really nice seeing all of the smiles on everyone’s faces.”

A handful of Cyclone football players, all dressed in their home jerseys, conducted a skills clinic Friday afternoon. The Cyclone gridders tossed passes, signed autographs and posed for photos. Junior lineman Alex Alvarez volunteered his time on Friday, and he was happy with his decision.

“It’s been lots of fun,” Alvarez said. “There are lots of great kids competing this weekend. It’s nice to be here in the summertime helping out the community and giving back to the community. It is fun for us to just be able to help the kids out. Everyone on the football team appreciates being looked up to as role models, so we are happy to get out here and help out.”

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