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Special Olympics athletes Nick Van Denburgh of Minnesota and Michael Reed of New Jersey tip off at the 2013 Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game at the NBA All Star Weekend. Photo by Will Schermerhorn

Basketball is a favorite Special Olympics sport. This basketball sport center draws together sport news and stories, upcoming events and links to the Special Olympics Basketball Coaching Guide.


Get an overview of the sport of Special Olympics basketball.  View the Basketball Fact Sheet

Basketball is one of the top sports at Special Olympics. Players take it up at all ages and at all abilities, from young players learning to handle the ball and keep it under control while dribbling to older, more experienced players who have the moves and know the strategies to play challenging ball.

It's also one of the favorite sports for the Special Olympics Unified Sports initiative, when players with and without intellectual disabilities form teams to play other unified teams. It's a learning experience that's also a lot of fun. 

News and Stories

abril 19, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

Soy Crsitian Iael y soy un campeón

By Paola Martinelli

Cristian con su medalla de los Juegos Nacionales 2014

He finished high school and entered a special occupational school where four years ago he was invited to participate in Special Olympics training activities playing basketball.View Story Cristian tiene 28 años, nació el 27 de julio de 1986 y vive con su familia en Cancún, Quintana Roo. Terminó la escuela secundaria e ingresó a una escuela laboral especial donde hace 4 años fue invitado a participar en actividades de entrenamiento de Olimpiadas Especiales, juega basquetbol porque le gusta mucho convivir con sus compañeros, pero su mejor desempeño es en atletismo, particularmente en las pruebas de fondo. En los pasados XV juegos nacionales de Olimpiadas Especiales México ganó una medalla de oro al competir en 400 m planos en rama varonil y participará en los juegos mundiales de verano de Special Olympics Los Angeles 2015.

About Paola Martinelli:Directora Nacional de Comunicación y Mercadotecnia
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abril 19, 2015 | Latin America: Mexico

María Cecilia Alba una Campeona

By Paola Martinelli

Originally from Zacatecas she is a Special Olympics Mexico basketball athlete. She has been invited by Special Olympics International for her high performance to participate in the Unified play with NBA stars.View Story Originaria de Zacatecas es atleta de básquetbol de Olimpiadas Especiales México , has sido invitada por parte de Olimpiadas Especiales Internacionales por su alto rendimiento a participar en el Juego Unificado con estrellas de la NBA. María Cecilia es constante, dedicada, entusiasta y comprometida con todo lo que hace. Gracias a Olimpiadas Especiales Ceci está haciendo lo que a ella le gusta y cuida de sí misma. A través de Olimpiadas Especiales ella ha viajado por su país y alrededor del mundo. Ha estado en Olimpiadas Especiales por 21 años. Ha participado en 21 eventos estatales, 11 Juegos Nacionales y 3 Juegos Mundiales en el deporte de Basquet bol. Ceci ama ayudar a sus amigos y cuidar de su papá. Participará este verano en los próximos Juegos Mundiales 2015 en los Ángeles, California, E.U.A.

About Paola Martinelli:Directora Nacional de Comunicación y Mercadotecnia
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marzo 18, 2015 | Latin America: Panamá

Generals of the Unified Basketball Tournament

By Maryorie Patiño

La liga se ha hecho especialmente para preparar al equipo de Baloncesto Unificado que viajará a Los Angeles a los juegos mundiales.

The preparatory league for the unified basketball team to go to the World Summer Games, Los Angeles 2015, continues.View Story The preparatory league for the unified basketball team to go to the World Summer Games, Los Angeles 2015, continues. This March 7 the third and fourth games of the tournament were performed leaving at the head of the table The Generals, representatives of the General Bank. In the first game The Generals defeated The Crickets 55 points by 37, making another 50 points on your score. In the second game The Braves the Special Olympics team in preparation defeated The Roosters 58 points by 55, making their first 50 points.

About Maryorie Patiño:Director of Public Awareness of Special Olympics Panama.
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Upcoming Basketball Events




nov 28 - jun 12 2015

European Basketball Week

European Basketball Week is when we ask the broader basketball community to open more opportunities for athletes with intellectual disabilities in the game. Basketball Week involves athletes with and without intellectual disabilities, coaches, fans and families at more than 200 basketball events, matches, clinics and exhibitions across 33 countries.
For more information
Mirek Krogulec
Email:[email protected]
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Various courts throughout Europe
Various communities in Europe Eurasia, Various

enero 14, 2016

Basketball 5 on 5 & Cheerleading

Join the Area 12 5 on 5 basketball teams for their local competition and check out the cheerleading competition as well! (Inclement weather make up date is Feb. 13)
For more information
Paula White
Email:[email protected]
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Limestone College
1115 College Drive

Gaffney, South Carolina

febrero 25, 2016

Area 7 Basketball Tournament

Join us February 25th at Airport High School in West Columbia, South Carolina as schools from Lexington School Districts 1-5 and Richland 2 will come together to compete in individual skills, team skills, 3x3 traditional and Unified, and 5x5 traditional and Unified basketball competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports.
For more information
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Airport High School
1315 Boston Ave

West Columbia, South Carolina

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Basketball Competitions

2014 Canada Summer Games

The Special Olympics 2014 Canada Summer Games was the largest Canadian Games ever. See results and teams.

2014 USA Games

The 2014 Special Olympics USA Games ran June 14-21. See results and stories.

2014 Southern California Summer Invitational Games

Special Olympics athletes from Southern California and from around the world compete in Los Angeles.

2013 Asia Pacific Games

Athletes from 30 Asia Pacific and East Asia regions compete in the inaugural Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games. Get schedules and results.

2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games

Athens, Greece, was the home of the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games. That year, it was the world’s largest sporting event for athletes with intellectual disabilities. See results by athlete, delegation and bib number.

How to Get Involved in Special Olympics

Special Olympics sports training, coaching and competitions go on in more than 170 countries around the world. You can get involved by getting in touch with the closest Special Olympics office.

Special Olympics near you»

Made Possible by The Annenberg Foundation

The Special Olympics movement is profoundly grateful for the support of the Annenberg Foundation which has underwritten the production of the coaches’ guides and resources, supporting our global goals for coaches’ excellence.


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