By Alan Gionet

EVERGREEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Special Olympics kids were surrounded by boys and girls from the Evergreen High School basketball teams on Saturday. The basketball players taking the court were all heart this weekend before Valentine’s Day.

(credit: CBS)

“They’re wonderful. There’s just so much enthusiasm for these little kids, it’s amazing,” said Bess Beach, grandmother of young ball player Mattie Beebe. “It’s the most fun, she absolutely loves it, it’s the best thing in the world for her.”

Mattie takes part in Inspire, the special needs program at Evergreen Parks and Recreation. Every year the Evergreen High School students come together with the kids in the program to guide them through a game.

(credit: CBS)

The crowd loves it. The kids get a chance to shoot hoops with help, and some players surprise the fans with their basketball prowess.

“This is the best. I swear to God, I just love it,” said ball player Gracie Arnold. Her smile was as wide as the court.

CBS4’s Alan Gionet called the game as basket after basket excited the crowd. Fans also contributed to programs to help the kids and remembered 23-year-old Jeremy Roach who recently passed away after coming down with a rare lung cancer.

(credit: CBS)

Inspire’s program leader, Maren Schreiber, dedicated the day to Jeremy and his family, a tearful tribute to another young player and friend.

Alan Gionet

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