HEATHER MEADE/Advocate Photo
The Darke County Slammers Special Olympics basketball team honored Justice Meade, a 3-year member of their family. Meade was killed in a car accident in October, along with his cousin Austin Meade and friend Brian Mendenhall. The Slammers retired Meade’s jersey, #20, at their first home game last Wednesday, which took place at Versailles High School. The jerseys were presented to Meade’s family, Brad Meade, Jenni Warner, and siblings, Devin, Reagan and Kiana.
VERSAILLES – The Darke County Slammers played their first home game Wednesday night, but it was a bittersweet victory as the team honored a fallen teammate, Justice Meade, who passed away in October 2012 as a result of a fatal car accident.
The Slammers retired Meade’s #20 jersey, and said that they would always remember their fallen teammate, who was a part of the Slammer family for three years. The “home” and “away” jerseys for #20 were presented to Meade’s parents, Brad Meade and Jenni Warner, as well as his three younger siblings, Devin, Reagan and Kiana.
“This is a sea of red for Justice,” said Cindy Rose, Darke County Special Olympics director. “When you come here, I hope you feel like part of the family…Justice was a part of our family for three years, and now we’re honoring him with what’s on our shirts. We know he’ll be with us.”
Nearly every Slammer had a red “Justice, 20” t-shirt on Wednesday night. The Miami County Magic was there to share in the special night, which Rose said was fitting, because Darke and Miami Counties have had a good relationship for years now, but also because the team added to the sea of red in their red and white uniforms.
“We’re a family; it’s not like high school teams where they’re together for four years. Special Olympics players can continue in the program until they’re physically incapable of playing,” said Rose. “So Wednesday was a special time, remembering a member of our family that’s no longer with us. As a family, you go through tough times together, along with the good.”
They will continue to remember Meade, and will honor him quietly in their own way, Rose commented.
The Slammers won their first home game, which took place at Versailles High School, 32 to 20 against the Miami County Magic, Rose said. Each member of the Slammers was able to play at their first home game, Rose commented.
“The Slammers represent Darke County well; I think we put more of a focus on how the players conduct themselves than on winning or losing,” Rose commented. “We like to have fun, and we do like to win, of course.”