SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT — It was a hero`s welcome outside Barrel 135 restaurant in Williamsport as the Little League team from Uganda got off the bus.
Fresh from a win against the team from Oregon in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport, the boys were ready to chow down on some good food.
This meal was free as three area business owners picked up the tab.
“Their journey here to Williamsport is a miracle, to say the least, and I was truly inspired and I talked with a couple of my friends and some local businesses owners and we put this idea together and I figured this was the least we could do,” said Anthony Marchese of Greenport Supply.
This is the first time a team from Africa has made it to the Little League World Series and the boys from Uganda have overcome numerous trials to get to this level.
But if the world is touched by their story, the team is floored by the overwhelming support here in Williamsport.
“People here are so kind. People love us. I wish I could come back before this year, it would be a great, great place for me, I really love America” said Henry Odong, Uganda’s coach.
The team said they were most surprised by the turn out on parade day.
“Everyone was cheering, everyone was happy. It was like overwhelming, we never expected it” said Paul Kateregga, another coach from Uganda.
Despite the win against Oregon, the team is out of the running for the championship title.
Still organizers of the dinner say the boys are winners, through and through.
“They really don`t have bats and balls over there, wooden bats, paper balls, you know, truly an inspiration and I believe it they had the tools and the resources, I believe they are the best in the world,” said Marchese.