TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Over 100 athletes hit the hardwood at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) Sunday morning, for a Special Olympics Super Regional showdown. The event was about much more than just basketball.

Matthew Graham is in his eighth year playing with the Troy Devil Dogs. His love for the sport is second only to his love for others. “I make lots of friends, and I love the competition,” said Graham.

With Sunday morning’s event being free and open to the public, Graham made friends both on and off the court. “I have never seen such a strong student turnout at one of these events,” said program director Danielle Armstrong. “So, everyone’s really excited to be here today.”

Mindy Iaquinta, a small forward on the Adirondack Tigers, told NEWS10 it’s great to play with people like Graham. “I love to play with my friends and my teammates,” she said. “We like to be… we’re friendly.”

The Devil Dogs brought home the win on Sunday. Graham left it all on the court. “I try to live by the athlete oath, which is, ‘let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt,” said the guard.

Armstrong said that determination is something you would have to see to believe. “I would say if you can get to a competition, please come down, see what our athletes can do,” she stated. “These athletes really love that sport and would love to show you what they can do.”