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USA Games was about more than basketball for Casey Martin

Team Tennessee baller won bronze and received free hearing aids
Basketball Medals.jpg

Casey Martin was a member of Team Tennessee’s basketball team at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games. While in Orlando, his favorite part wasn’t Disney World. It was not the opening ceremony. It was not winning a bronze medal. Martin took pleasure in the simple joys. The joy of the game.

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Martin in the background with his teammates

“Playing basketball,” said Martin.

Something that he could have enjoyed back home in Rutherford County. Yet, he traveled over 600 miles to play the game he loved. Of course, playing basketball was going to be his favorite part.

This is nothing new for the 16-year veteran. His favorite part of Special Olympics Tennessee has always been…

“Playing basketball.”

His favorite thing about being a part of Team Tennessee is slightly different.

“Playing basketball with friends.”

Team Tennessee was not just composed of friends for Casey but also family.

“It was a great feeling not only as a coach but as a mom,” said Coach Lisa Martin. “Just being out there was a feeling that you can’t really describe.”

Known by the rest of the team as Coach Martin, Casey simply calls her “Mom.”

Casey Martin after receiving hearing aids
Casey Martin received free hearing aids from Starkey Cares

Casey was not embarrassed by it.

“It was cool,” said Casey Martin.

“Mom’s” favorite part wasn’t watching her son play basketball, win a bronze medal or have a blast with his friends at Disney. It was watching him receive his hearing aids thanks to the Special Olympics Healthy Hearing initiative.

“When I saw Casey get these hearing aids, he just lit up, and it took him to another level,” said Coach Martin. “Way better than seeing them put that bronze medal around his neck.”

The Healthy Hearing discipline of Healthy Athletes provides comprehensive hearing screenings and follow-up recommendations. The main goals of this program are to inform athletes, parents, coaches or caregivers about the detection of possible ear and hearing problems, recommend follow-up as needed, and to promote the necessity of regular ear and hearing screenings. Learn more here.

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