The ultimate dream for any basketball fan came true for Special Olympics B.C. (SOBC) Langley basketball player Sean Annan this month, as he got to share the court with NBA and WNBA players and legends.
Annan was chosen as one of 12 Special Olympics athletes from around the world to play in the ninth annual NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game on Friday, Feb. 14.
It marked the first time SOBC has ever been represented at the matchup, where Special Olympics athletes will team up with NBA and WNBA players and legends in a 40-minute game spotlighting inclusion and acceptance.
The game was part of the 2020 NBA All-Star Weekend.
In his nomination video, shot by fellow teammate Christian Burton, Annan talked about his “passion” for the sport, and how a devastating injury turned out to be life-changing in a good way.
Annan was kept from trying out for the 2015 Special Olympics Team Canada that went to the World Games in Los Angeles after he suffered a compound fracture of his tibia and fibula.
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“I realized, when I was in hospital, that the community and the friends I have here support me and were by my side,” Annan recalled.
His team went on to win gold in the finals.
Throughout the remainder of the season, Annan’s teammates wrote his No. 7 on their shoulders.
Annan was out of his cast in three months and back on the court in six.
In the video that won him a trip to Chicago and the NBA game, Annan said he was looking forward to playing with legends he’s only seen on television up till now.
He called it “a good challenge for me.”
“I like to make friends and meet new people.”