Raphielli, Briggs shine for Special Olympics

LaMarcus Briggs

LaMarcus Briggs

Gerry Raphielli

Gerry Raphielli

Gerry Raphielli and LaMarcus Briggs are two of Santa Barbara’s finest Special Olympics athletes. Their reputation even extends beyond Santa Barbara’s borders as the pair were recruited to play for Santa Maria’s softball team this summer at the World Games.

They’re traveling to Santa Maria every week for practice leading up to the international event in July that will be televised by ESPN.

Up first is the annual Special Olympics Santa Barbara Regional Basketball Tournament held in UCSB’s Thunderdome on Sunday, March 15. There will be over 400 players competing and Santa Barbara has four teams entered.

Raphielli is a 40-year Special Olympics veteran and Regional Sports Manager Tim Phillibosian said he’s become a player-coach and a big brother to many of his teammates.

Briggs is another veteran with 15 years of competitive experience.

Briggs and Raphielli are also avid track & field participants.

Opening ceremonies for the basketball tournament on March 15 begin at 9 a.m. and games begin at 9:45 a.m.

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