Unified Special Olympics hoop teams face off at Husker women’s basketball game

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The Special Olympics basketball players had their turn to show off their skills under the bright lights at halftime of the Husker women’s basketball game against Iowa.

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Wyatt Spalding, from Fremont, says sport is in his blood.

All of his siblings: his sisters and twin brother, were growing up athletes. Several times Wyatt must have looked sideways.

At halftime in the Husker women’s basketball game against Iowa on Sunday, Wyatt had a turn to show off his skills under the bright lights of Pinnacle Bank Arena.

“It was my dream to play on the Nebraska field and to be able to be there for about eight minutes is a dream come true,” he said.

Wyatt is a Special Olympics basketball and tennis player. He will represent Nebraska in the Unified Special Olympics in Orlando in June.

Unified Special Olympics teams are made up of people with intellectual disabilities and unified partners. The Nebraska team faced the Iowa team at halftime of the women’s basketball game this summer.

Wyatt’s teammate, Papillion native Evan Roberts is a unified partner. He says his little brother inspires him to compete with the Nebraska team.

“It means everything to me,” said Roberts. “My little brother Ethan has Down’s syndrome. So I grew up around Special Olympics and the Nebraska community. And so being able to go there and represent the Nebraska team today, you dreamed of it as a kid of Nebraska, playing on that field.

Wyatt says he joined Special Olympics in 2008, when the Unified Games weren’t so important.

“Now it’s like this big thing!” Wyatt exclaimed. “And that means everything to me to play and watch sports, which is such a big part of my life.”


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