MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Milwaukee Bucks players and coaches last week hosted a basketball clinic for 100 Special Olympics athletes and their coaches at Nicolet High School.
With just nine wins and 43 losses at the All-Star break, the Milwaukee Bucks are headed for their worst season in franchise history. But the Bucks Basketball Clinic for Special Olympics athletes at Nicolet High School on Tuesday, February 11th was just what the doctor ordered.
"Oh definitely, I mean, it just makes you feel grateful. It is just an opportunity to be with people that are always happy. When you are in a situation like this, it's always fun just because you walk in, everybody greets you, everyone is happy to see you. They don't care what your record is," Bucks Guard Brandon Knight said.
"It's fantastic. The Bucks have been doing this for over 20 years now. All these kids - they know everything about the Bucks. They know the players, the coaches, and it's fun to be with them. We teach them some of the basic fundamentals of basketball, and to see their smiles light up, I tell you what, it warms my heart more than them, so for every bit they get out of it, I get more, ten-fold out if it," Bucks Assistant Coach Scott Williams said.
"It is a really special thing, you know -- just being here. It's not my first time. It is my, I want to say, like fourth or fifth time. I am a father of three kids, you know, so when you see those kids happy," Bucks Forward Ersan Ilyasova said.
Stacy Santoro is in her late 30s. She has been involved in Special Olympics programs since she was eight. After watching all of the joy Stacy experienced, her mother started coaching. Today, they are both still going strong.
"I have been coaching Special Olympics for over 20 years, and I see it through the basketball that we do, through bowling, through track and field -- I mean, they love this. I mean this is like the, it's just -- it's all in your heart," Santoro's mother said.
At 19, Giannis Antetokounmpo may be a rising NBA star, but he's a kid too, and in his heart, taking time out from his off-night to make special new friends was a slam dunk.
"I love it and I'm just here to make them have some fun," Antetokounmpo said.
On this night, the Special Olympics athletes were the most thankful of all.
"Man, it feel awesome! It feel really awesome to be with these Bucks players out here tonight," Special Olympics athlete LaTray Jones said.
The Bucks will host the Special Olympics athletes at a game later this season.