Thomas “Tommy” Jenkins of Butner, N.C. has always admired Coach Roy Williams and UNC Basketball so when he was given the opportunity
to personally meet Coach Williams and present him with an honor on behalf of Special Olympics North Carolina, he was ecstatic.
“I was asked who I had in mind to present the ‘Thank You’ plaque to Roy Williams, I immediately thought Tommy,” said Willie Moore, one of Tommy’s coaches and closest friends. “Tommy was beaming with pride.”
To this day, Tommy talks about that special moment and how proud he was to present the award to Roy Williams. In his 10 years of participating in Special Olympics, Tommy has had many proud moments and continues to share his special memories with everyone around him.
“He makes himself known when he walks in the room,” said Alesia Ragland, head coach and local coordinator of Special Olympics Murdoch Center. “He gets along with everyone and is just so happy.”
Tommy competes in four sports: bocce, bowling, athletics and his favorite, basketball. His coaches and friends have recognized the impact competing has had on his self-esteem. Through the years, Tommy has grown more confident, is more outgoing and is always willing to compete in new sports.
Moore admires Tommy’s personality and how he is a true example of the Special Olympics athlete oath.
“He’s very proud of his accomplishments when he wins anything but is also a gracious loser,” Moore said. “He is the first to congratulate the winner and to shake the winner’s hand.”
Much like his favorite sports star, Michael Jordan, Tommy also shows great leadership while on the court. He is known to always help his teammates and give them instructions when necessary.
“He knows that in order to do his best, he has to practice and he will let the staff know it’s time to do so,” Ragland said.
Tommy shows great independence on and off the court. In addition to his Special Olympics training and competition schedule, Tommy also works at Vocational Enterprise at the Murdoch Center.
Congratulations Thomas Jenkins, the 2014 Special Olympics October “Athlete of the Month!”
Ice Cream: Vanilla
Vacation Spot: Kerr Beach
TV Show: NCIS
Comic book super hero: Superman
Actor/Actress: Hallie Berry