Athlete of the Week: Josh Gilbert

You may have seen him at a Post 320, or Post 22 game - or even cheering on the Rapid City Rush.
But this week's Athlete of the Week has a love for baseball that goes beyond watching from the stands.

What do you love the most about baseball? Josh says, 'Hitting home runs.'
Josh says, 'I step up to the plate, I take a deep breath, and then lock in and wait for it. When it's down the middle, then, crack! The ball goes out of the ball park.'

Josh Gilbert has a passion for baseball.

How often do you practice? Josh says, 'A lot.'
Josh says, 'A lot of practice. I've been playing everyday baseball since 2001.'

A full team has nine players on the field, but most of the time Josh plays with only one.

Josh says, 'Sometimes I get a little bored playing by myself, but I sometimes get company.'

Is this how you practice mostly? Josh says, 'Yup, that's how I practice mostly when I'm by myself, but when there's people here then I can just stand out here and wait until the ball comes to me.'

All of those times Josh has gone out and pitched to himself have paid off. He went 10-for-10 at bat at this year's South Dakota Special Olympics. And, after that he was invited to play on the USA 2018 Special Olympics softball team.

Josh says, 'Very very excited. I'm looking forward to that trip. It's like being a professional athlete.'
Josh says, 'I'm going to get help from some of my coaches and friends to get me ready.'

Come July, he'll be in Seattle competing against the best Special Olympians in the country.

Josh says, 'As an 11-time Gold Medal winner, I promise to my coach, my teammates, that I'll be ready to compete, and that I will not let them down.'

Best of luck to you Josh, and congratulations for being this week's Powerade Athlete of the Week. For Black Hills FOX Sports, I'm Taylor Kauffman.

Josh says, 'Oh, that was close!'