CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Our featured athlete for the month of February is Kellie Hearne out of Stanly County.
Kellie has competed in multiple sports for the Special Olympics, but basketball has her heart. Her love for the game started when Stanly County formed their first basketball team for the Special Olympics 9 years ago. Kellie is the only original player left from that team and played a key role in helping the Stanly County Warrios win their first gold medal - hitting the game winning shot.
“I got put on the basketball team 9 years ago and I haven’t stopped ever since,” Hearne said. “In that process, I’ve made a lot of friends, I’ve earned a lot of medals and I get to go around North Carolina and talk about Special Olympics and get people aware of our organization.”
Kellie recently competed at the 2019 NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball game and that weekend has become a highlight of her Special Olympics career. Her favorite moment from the game - boxing out NBA legend Ron Harper.
Aside from the Special Olympics, Kellie is very involved with the ladies group at her church, and she helped them to start hosting a Sweetheart Dance every year for adults with disabilities that the entire community supports.