Robbie Ellwood, 24, Loved Sports as Fan, Player

The Special Olympics Hot Shots basketball star died Jan. 29.

Robbie Ellwood, ultimate sports fan and integral member of the Hot Shots Special Olympics basketball team, died Jan. 29 at the age of 24.

Ellwood, who lived in Beverly Hills, was born Sept. 30, 1987, in Royal Oak.

Ellwood was a sports fanatic. From Pistons basketball to Red Wings hockey to University of Michigan football, he was always the biggest fan.

He was not only energetic in the stands, but he also was a valued team player on the field. He loved to play soccer, basketball, poly-hockey, golf, football and tennis, and was an avid bowler and swimmer. Ellwood was proud to be a part of a team.

On Sunday, his Special Olympics basketball team, , wore red headbands, Ellwood's signature headwear, at a tournament at Waterford Mott. Coaches Barry Cowan and Mena Murray wore black ribbons with his initials. The three teams at the tournament – the Gremlins, Jazz and Hot Shots – came together for a moment of silence at center court before the games began.

Ellwood was also a diligent worker. He loved having a job to do. He mastered many trades at Kroger, Starbucks,  and Super Summer.

Ellwood is survived by parents Robert and Stephanie Ellwood; sisters Dawn (Tim Loney), Meredith (Jeff Nichols), Libby (Lennie Hall) and Lindsay (Mike Bellware); and uncle to Maddison, Emily, Zachary, Chase, Ross, Nick, Brooke and Jack.

There were also many "surrogate" families Ellwood equally cherished.

Ellwood also leaves a legacy of the heart. From his smiles to his jokes, from his energy to his enthusiasm, family and friends say he was infectious in his love for others.

The funeral service was Thursday at , 6600 Rochester Rd. in Troy.  Please send memorial tributes to Special Olympics of Michigan or Angels' Place.

 contributed to this report.

Judy Davids February 08, 2012 at 10:39 AM
I feel really lucky that I was given the opportunity to meet Robbie. Check out the video of him participating in a 3-point shot challenge! My heartfelt condolences go out to Robbie's family and teammates.


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