Mon. County Special Olympian Wins Big 12 Honor - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Mon. County Special Olympian Wins Big 12 Honor

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MORGANTOWN -

The West Virginia Special Olympic State Basketball Tournament may be one you have never heard about, but it's all these athletes can talk about.

"I want to win, win the tournament," said Tommy Newbraugh, a Special Olympic athlete.

On March 22-24 the state's top Special Olympic athletes will be in Morgantown for the State Championship Tournament, and one Monongalia County athlete is gaining recognition in the Big 12.

Tommy Newbraugh, a 55-year-old dedicated athlete spent his Sunday afternoon preparing with his teammates. It was one day after learning that he was named the Big 12 Special Olympic Male Athlete of the Year.

"I think it's just a wonderful honor," said Newbraugh's sister Brenda Stefanick. "Especially our first year in the Big 12 Conference and for all of his hard work and dedication he's put into the Special Olympics through the many years. I just think it's a wonderful, wonderful honor for him."

Newbraugh is a WVU fanatic. It's apparent by his outfits.

Saturday he was surprised with his award during the halftime of the Mountaineer basketball game.

This weekend he will travel Kansas City to be honored in front of the entire Big 12 at the conference tournament.

"He got real teary eyed, and was just sort of stunned. Then later as it sank in he told me he was really surprised because he had no knowledge of it," said Stefanick.

Newbraugh has been participating in the Special Olympics for more than 40 years, and his coaches love him.

"His attitude is great. He's been doing this forever and he's really dedicated, he helps with fundraisers and is active in this all year long, which is good for him," said coach Terry Donhiser.

A three sport athlete Tommy's love falls on the hardwoods. On any given day he's found dressed in his favorite teams' colors and rooting for his favorite athletes.