'I thought I could be a famous star someday': Elkhart County special Olympians shine

    WSBT 22 photo

    It's getting to be tourney time in the basketball world, and that also holds true for special Olympians.

    The free Elkhart County tournament on Saturday was jammed packed with families rocking different color jerseys for their counties.

    We got to meet a young man who wants to leave a big impression on the court.

    North Wood Middle School was full of Olympians in uniform, stretching and ready to take on a basketball invitational.

    Coming from all around state, with applause and cheers, the message was clear for the Elkhart Special Olympics: it’s a place to have fun and showcase your skills, no matter who you are.

    "It's the comrodery of all of the athletes together,” said Laura Pepple. “They're learning social skills. They're competing in things that they've never been able to compete against, and we're building friendship skills which is the most important and the most fun thing."

    Families sat in the bleachers supporting their favorite teams, but for one family, they were betting on the kid in the number two navy blue jersey, Kody Campbell.

    He was the smallest one out on the court, but he had a big spirit for his team.

    “It's amazing, so inspiring to see the things that they've overcome,” said Pepple.

    No matter which team won, living in the moment was the unforgettable part.

    "Makes me know that, the trivial things in my life, I can overcome as well and just enjoy sports in general,” said Pepple.

    Being a Noble County Conqueror means a lot for Kody after it's all said and done on the court. He's happy for the experience.

    “It's fun and it's exciting and I make new friends,” said Kody.

    Making friends with the other teams, and meeting new families just like his, the Elkhart Special Olympics is creating a circle of winners.

    "I thought maybe I could be a famous star someday,” said Pepple.

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