GREENVILLE — A group of young men are on a mission to conquer the world. They call themselves the Dream Team. Their goal is gold at the Special Olympics World Summer Games.
"We're representing Pitt County, North Carolina and the United States," says Dream Team Coach, Cricket Morning. "I mean, you only get that once in a lifetime."
The team of 15, 16 and 17 year olds has been together for five months. They are a collection of the best basketball players from the Pitt County Special Olympics in the past four years. These guys live for the game.
Co-captains Chris Williams and Jason Parson say they're going to play the game of basketball: If I feel like they're lagging on us, I'm gonna try and pick 'em back up. If there ain't nothin' there, I'm going by myself for it. Everytime we get together, we have fun and play good ball together.
And they are good. The team has never lost a game in Special Olympics competitions, in practice games, pickup games or ever.
Coach Morning says no one in the crowd ever expects the team to make a basket. When they do, the crowd goes wild.
Three more players will be added to this Dream Team of six for the World Games. They've got a little over a year to run their drills and plays and learn their roles. Parson explains: Even our little man off the bench got a role to play. When he come in, he get up pumped up. We try to get him the ball, make sure he score, so everybody on the team got a role to play.
Every one of the Dream Teamers is talking about the World Games-- about playing against the best Special Olympians anywhere, people of different lands and cultures and ways. And winning.
Williams says he's not on the court to understand what the other team in saying. He and the team are out there to win. And of course, to have fun.
"I'll probably never ever in my life after the World Games see people from those countries again," says Coach Morning. "But that summer, I'm gonna see 'em, and I'm gonna enjoy it. And my boys are gonna enjoy it."