‘Hooping for Heroes’ scores funds for Bedford County Special Olympics

The annual event showcases the unified team up against local law enforcement

BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. – An annual basketball game is turning buckets into cash for Bedford County Special Olympic Athletes.

Hooping for Heroes, a basketball game sponsored by Liberty High School’s “Fused Together Club” allows unified students, teachers and staff to play against local law enforcement partners.

Elijah Brodie is the head coach for the unified team.

“At the end of the day I hope we win and I hope we have a good time,” Brodie said. “I like to hype them up.”

The unified team is comprised of students with disabilities and other Liberty High School students.

Aleaxis Conklin, a senior at the school, has participated in the event each year.

“I just love getting to know them. Seeing what it’s like to be around them because they’re not in my classes with me every day. It’s nice just to be able to experience being around them,” Conlin said.

Half of the game is students taking on local law enforcement. At halftime, teachers take over for the students to try and bring home the win.

“Teachers ... they know to let us win unless they want some enforcement done,” Bedford Police Officer Travis Thomas said.

The game gives kids the chance to interact with police and sheriff’s deputies in a more fun manner.

“It’s wonderful for two reasons. It’s wonderful for the first reason because they don’t have many events where they can participate throughout the year. It’s also great because when they see us as law enforcement, they see us as somebody that they can up to and talk to versus somebody that they may need to be afraid of,” Thomas said.

All the proceeds from the game go to Bedford County Special Olympic Athletes.

About the Author

Connor Dietrich joined the 10 News team in June 2022. Originally from Castle Rock, Colorado, he's ready to step away from the Rockies and step into the Blue Ridge scenery.

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