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Basketball

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.


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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


December 17, 2014 | Latin America: Puerto Rico

Special Olympics and Lions Clubs Play Unified in Puerto Rico

By David Evangelista

As spectators streamed into a sports complex in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the inaugural event of the 2014 Lions Clubs International USA/Canada Forum, it was clear that something unique was about to happen.View Story As spectators streamed into a sports complex in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for the inaugural event of the 2014 Lions Clubs International USA/Canada Forum, it was clear that something unique was about to happen. Two Unified basketball teams – made up of Special Olympics Puerto Rico athletes and Leos from Puerto Rico – took the court sporting new uniforms adorning the logos of two organizations dedicated to ensuring that basketball was just the start. The game highlighted the exciting expansion of the organization’s partnership, “Mission: Inclusion”, which provides key vision care and health services to Special Olympics athletes and promotes inclusive sports programming among their global Leo youth network. “It’s fantastic what we are seeing here this evening. Together, we are creating new ways to serve our communities, and demonstrate the power that youth can have in charting this course,” said Joe Preston, President of Lions Clubs International.

About David Evangelista:I am the Vice President of Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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November 26, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Special Olympics Kenya National Games unite a community.

By Mr John Makhathimo

At the Special Olympics Kenya National Games, 157 athletes and partners could not contain their excitement as they marched onto the field to acknowledge their supporters. They competed in athletics, unified basketball, unified beach volley ball, handball, and 5-aside football to secure their place in the National Team.View Story The Special Olympics Kenya National Games took place during August at the University of Nairobi sports grounds. 157 athletes and partners could not contain their excitement as they marched onto the field to acknowledge their supporters. They competed in athletics, unified basketball, unified beach volley ball, handball, and 5-aside football to secure their place in the National Team. This great event would not have been possible without the support of individuals, organisations and the community as a whole. Special Olympics Kenya staff and volunteers that worked tirelessly to make sure the event ran smoothly, and members of the community came in numbers to support and cheer on the athletes. Special Olympics Africa Program Development Manager, Mr. Joe Mutua, was among the guests of honour at the event. The event was generously supported by the UON family support network, the coaches’ fraternity, and Friends of Special Olympics Kenya (FOSK). Lunch was donated by Mr. & Mrs. Kariuki Kagondu and Mr. & Mrs. Parker, and water and refreshments were taken care by Ms. Jacky Mwangi. Mrs. Lenah Agare was the events medical personnel and first aider, and the UON allowed the program to use its sports facilities and other amenities. The event received tremendous electronic media coverage helping create much needed exposure and awareness for the program. Special Olympics creates communities of support everywhere it goes. We hold 50,000 competitions a year -- about 136 each day. Our Games and competitions bring together athletes, coaches, volunteers, supporters and leaders of the community. Special Olympics knows no boundaries. Without regard to gender, race, religion, economic or education level, Special Olympics has the ability to unite all walks of life. This spirit of generosity, inclusion and volunteerism helps to connect the community as a whole. In this way, we will build a stronger, safer world.

About Mr John Makhathimo:Special Olympics Kenya National Director
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November 26, 2014 | Africa: Senegal

Senegal hosts their annual Camp Shriver.

By Mrs Rajah Diouri Sy.

Special Olympics Senegal annually hosts a Camp Shriver that hosts over 100 children. The Camp continues a tradition that created by our founder, the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver who hosted the first camp right in her own backyard in Maryland.View Story Special Olympics Senegal annually hosts a Camp Shriver that hosts over 100 children. The Camp continues a tradition that created by our founder, the late Eunice Kennedy Shriver who hosted the first camp right in her own backyard in Maryland. The Camp Shriver experience significantly boosts skills in multiple sports and fosters social inclusion for athletes with and without intellectual disabilities who come together in a common goal of inclusion and participation regardless of ability. Special Olympics Senegal receives great support for this camp from the Ministry of Youth and this relationship has made it possible for the program to host this event annually. This year 121 athletes and partners experienced a great camping adventure. They got to participate in table tennis and basketball; swimming lessons were treated to a field trip to the zoo, a guided tour at the Economic and social council, and a visit to the Monument of the Renaissance. The athletes were trained by Special Olympics Senegal coaches and were chaperoned by volunteers and 21 monitors and a special education teacher. They all enjoyed their time at the camp and are looking forward to the next year’s camp.

About Mrs Rajah Diouri Sy.:Special Olympics Senegal National Director
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Upcoming Basketball Events


Date

Event

Location

January 10, 2015

Central Basketball Series

Come and cheer on our athletes as they demonstrate their courage and determination over an exciting day basketball competition. This event will be held on January 10th at UNC Chapel Hill Fetzer and Woolen Gymnasiums in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Support our athletes and experience sports in its truest form. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

UNC Chapel Hill, Fetzer and Woolen Gymnasiums
101 Student Recreation Center CB #8610

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

January 10, 2015

West Basketball Series - Reidsville

Come and cheer on our athletes as they demonstrate their courage and determination for a day basketball competition. This event will be held on January 10th at various locations throughout Reidsville, North Carolina. Support our athletes and experience sports in its truest form. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

Various Locations
Reidsville, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

January 12, 2015

Coaches Training - Basketball

This will be a Coaches Training for the sport of Basketball. This training will be an online webinar so attendance in Mount Pleasant is not needed. To register for this event use the link below. If you have any further questions please contact Zach Warner at warne1zd@cmich.edu.
For more information
Resgister
Zach Warner
Email:warne1zd@cmich.edu
View More


Mount Pleasant, Michigan
UNITED STATES

January 17, 2015

East Basketball Series - Elizabeth City

Join us January 17th at Knobbs Creek Recreation Center in Elizabeth City, North Carolina as our as athletes compete and show their skill in basketball competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

Knobbs Creek Recreation Center
Elizabeth City, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

January 17, 2015

West Basketball Series - North Wilkesboro

Want to experience basketball competition in its purest form? Come to Mulberry Elementary School and North Wilkes High School in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina on January 17th to cheer on our athletes as they leave it all out there on the court. Be a fan of the Special Olympics and help us promote the joy of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

Mulberry Elementary School and North Wilkes High School
North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

January 24, 2015

East Basketball Series - Jacksonville

Want to experience basketball competition in its purest form? Join us at various locations throughout Jacksonville, North Carolina on January 24th to cheer on our athletes as they leave it all out there on the court. Be a fan of the Special Olympics and help us promote the joy of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

Various Locations
Jacksonville, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

January 24, 2015

West Basketball Series - Morganton

Want to experience basketball competition in its purest form? We invite you to Liberty Middle School, Morganton and Patton High School in Morganton, North Carolina on January 24th to cheer on our athletes as they leave it all out there on the playing field. Be a fan of the Special Olympics and help us promote the joy of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

Liberty Middle School; Morganton and Patton High School
Morganton, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

Jan 30 - 31 2015

State Basketball Competition

Join us January 30-31 at The Big House in Tavares, Florida as Special Olympics Florida teams compete from Areas 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 in the 2014 Special Olympics Florida State Basketball Tournament. It will be sure to be an exciting display of courage and basketball skill. See you there!
For more information
More Details
Akin Joseph
Email:akinjoseph@sofl.org
Phone:352-243-9536
View More

The Big House
1544 Lane Park Cutoff Road

Tavares, Florida
UNITED STATES

January 31, 2015

Area 4 Basketball Tournament

Join us and cheer on our athletes on January 31st at Houghton Lake High School in Houghton Lake, Michigan for what is going to be an exciting basketball tournament. Hope to see you there.
For more information
Marc Wills
Email:area04@somi.org
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Houghton Lake High School
4433 W Houghton Lake Dr

Houghton Lake, Michigan
UNITED STATES

January 31, 2015

Central Basketball Qualifier - High Point

Come and cheer on our athletes as they demonstrate their courage and determination for a day of basketball competition. This event will be held on January 31st at various locations througout High Point, North Carolina. Support our athletes and experience sports in its truest form. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

Various Locations
High Point, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

February 07, 2015

West Basketball Qualifier - Concord

Come and cheer on our athletes as they demonstrate their courage and determination for a day basketball competition. This event will be held on February 7th at various locations througout Concord, North Carolina. Support our athletes and experience sports in its truest form. For more details please use the contact information below..
For more information
More Details
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

Various Locations
Concord, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

February 07, 2015

East Basketball Qualifier - Greeneville

Join us February 7th at various locations thourghout Greeneville, North Carolina as our as athletes compete and show their skill in basketball competition. Come and cheer on our athletes and witness the power of sports. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

Various Locations
Greeneville, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

February 07, 2015

Area-24 Basketball Tournament

The Special Olympics Michigan Area-24 Basketball Tournament will take place February 7, 2015 at Mason County Eastern High School in Custer, Michigan. The Opening Ceremony will begin at 9 AM. Teams will play two days with competition ending between 2:00-3:00 PM. Ribbons will be awarded.
For more information
Cindy Hummer
Email:chummer12@gmail.com
View More

Mason County Eastern High School
18 S. Main Street

Custer, Michigan
UNITED STATES

February 18, 2015

Coaches Training - Basketball

This is a Coaches Training in the sport of Basketball. This is an Online Webinar so attendance in Mount Pleasant is not needed. To register for this training please use the link below. If you have any further questions please contact Zach Warner at warne1zd@cmich.edu.
For more information
Resgister
Zach Warner
Email:warne1zd@cmich.edu
View More


Mount Pleasant, Michigan
UNITED STATES

Feb 20 - 21 2015

State Basketball Competition

Join us February 20-21 at The Big House in Tavares, Florida as Special Olympics Florida teams compete from Areas 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in the 2014 Special Olympics Florida State Basketball Tournament. It will be sure to be an exciting display of courage and basketball skill. See you there!
For more information
More Details
Akin Joseph
Email:akinjoseph@sofl.org
Phone:352-243-9536
View More

The Big House
1544 Lane Park Cutoff Road

Tavares, Florida
UNITED STATES

Feb 27 - 28 2015

Kansas City - Regional Basketball

Join us February 27-28 in Kansas City, Missouri for the Kansas City Regional Basketball Tournament. Basketball competition will be held at the following locations: Bell Prairie Elementary School; New Mark Middle School; Oak Park High School; Staley High School; Winnetonka High School. The Opening Ceremony will be held on Feb 27th and competition will start February 28th at 8 a.m. Attention volunteers! We need people to run check-in and serve as scorekeepers, awards assistants and individual skills assistants. No experience is necessary as we will provide training on site. Most shifts are four hours, and each volunteer receives a free T-shirt. Please use the link below to go to the Special Olympics Missouri for information on how to volunteer for this event.
For more information
More Details
View More

North Kansas City School District
Kansas City, Missouri
UNITED STATES

Mar 7 - 8 2015

St. Louis & Southeast - Regional Basketball Tournament

Join us March 7-8 in Cape Girardeau, Missouri for the St. Louis & Southeast Regional Basketball Tournament. Basketball competition will be held at the following locations: SEMO, Osage Center and Cape School District. The Opening Ceremony will be held on March 7th at 6 p.m. and competition will begin March 8th at 8 a.m. Attention volunteers! We need people to run check-in and serve as scorekeepers, awards assistants and individual skills assistants. No experience is necessary as we will provide training on site. Most shifts are four hours, and each volunteer receives a free T-shirt. Please use the link below to go to the Special Olympics Missouri for information on how to volunteer for this event.
For more information
More Details
Susan Shaffer
Email:shaffer@somo.org
View More

Southeast Missouri State University, Osage Center & Cape Girardeau School District
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
UNITED STATES

March 07, 2015

Jefferson City - Regional Basketball

Join us Saturday, March 7th in Jefferson City, Missouri for the Jefferson City Regional Basketball Tournament. Basketball competition will be held at the following locations: First Baptist Church (301 E Capitol Ave); Lewis & Clark Middle School (325 Lewis and Clark Dr); Simonsen Ninth Grade Center (501 E Miller St), Thomas Jefferson Middle Scool (1201 Fairgrounds Rd) and Trinity Lutheran Church (803 Swifts Hwy). Competition will begin at 8am and go through 6pm. Attention volunteers! We need people to run check-in and serve as scorekeepers, awards assistants and individual skills assistants. No experience is necessary as we will provide training on site. Most shifts are four hours, and each volunteer receives a free T-shirt. Please use the link below to go to the Special Olympics Missouri for information on how to volunteer for this event.
For more information
More Details
Susan Shaffer
Email:Shaffer@somo.org
Phone:573-635-1660
View More

Jefferson City
Jefferson City, Missouri
UNITED STATES

March 07, 2015

Special Olympics North Carolina West Basketball Tournament

Come and cheer on our athletes as they demonstrate their courage and determination for a day basketball competition. This event will be held on March 7th at various locations throughout Charlotte, North Carolina. Support our athletes and experience sports in its truest form. For more details please use the contact information below.
For more information
More Details
Megan O'Donnell
Email:modonnell@sonc.net
Phone:919-818-4598
View More

Various Locations in Charlotte
Charlotte, North Carolina
UNITED STATES

Mar 13 - 15 2015

Illinois State Basketball Tournament

What is State Basketball? State Basketball is one of 9 state sports competitions. It is the culminating competition for those participating in team and individual skills basketball. State Basketball is hosted at Horton Fieldhouse – ISU and the Shirk Center- IWU. Approximately 1,540 athletes will compete in this 3-day event and show off their winning form! The State Basketball Tournament is supported, in part, by a grant from the Shirk Family Foundation. Hope to see you there!
For more information
More Details
David Shindley
Email:dshindley@soill.org
Phone:309-888-2551
View More

ISU & IWU Campus
Bloomington, Illinois
UNITED STATES

Mar 19 - 21 2015

State Basketball & Cheerleading

Join us on March 19-21 at Ft. Hays State University in Hays, Kansas as our athletes compete and show their skill during the Special Olympics Kansas State Basketball & Cheerleading Tournament. For more information about the tournament see the contact info and link below. Hope to see you there!
For more information
More Details
Tim Rehder
Email:rehdert@ksso.org
View More

Ft Hays State University
Hays, Kansas
UNITED STATES

March 20, 2015

Virginia Basketball Championships

It's March Madness Special Olympics Virginia style! Don't miss a moment of our annual Basketball Championships in Stafford, including the GEICO All-Star Friday Night basketball challenge, athlete and coach shootouts, the Victory Dance, plus skills, half court, and full court action all day Saturday. Event Volunteer roles are covered by Stafford County schools, but we need FANS for our athletes! Make Basketball Championships special - Volunteer 2 Cheer! Visit volunteer2cheer.com to sign up to be a fan and support our athletes with your cheers.
For more information
View More

Stafford County Schools
Stafford , Virginia
UNITED STATES

Mar 21 - 22 2015

2015 Basketball Tournament

Join us 21-22 March 2015 in Frederick, Maryland as over 400 athletes and 70 Unified partners from around the state compete in two days of basketball tournament action. Events will include 5 v. 5 traditional competition and well as 5 v. 5 Unified competition. For schedule and location details please refer to link below.
For more information
Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
Email:mczarnowsky@somd.org
Phone:410-242-1515
View More

Hood College
401 Rosemont Ave

Frederick, Maryland
UNITED STATES

Mar 27 - 29 2015

Missouri State Indoor Games

The 2015 State Indoor Games will be held at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri from March 27-29. Competition will begin at 8 a.m. on March 27th and go until 6 p.m on March 29th. The sports offered are basketball and bowling. Athletes are allowed to participate in both of these sports.
For more information
More Details
Susan Shaffer
Email:shaffer@somo.org
Phone:573-635-1660
View More

Fort Leonard Wood
Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
UNITED STATES

Jul 24 - Aug 2 2015

World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015

In July of 2015 more than 7,000 athletes from 170 countries will come to Los Angeles, California for the Special Olympics World Summer Games and enjoy 10 days full of joy, friendship and competition. Athletes will compete in 22 sports. The event expects to attract 500,000 spectators and 30,000 volunteers and 3,000 coaches.
For more information
More Details
World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
Email:info@la2015.org
Phone:213-892-6018
View More

Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California
UNITED STATES

November 07, 2015

Coaches Training - Conference

Join us on November 7th at Central Michigan University in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. This coaches training will cover the following sports: poly hockey, bowling, basketball, and Winter Games sports. To register for this event please use the link below. If you have further question please contact Zach Warner at warne1zd@cmich.edu.
For more information
More Details
Zach Warner
Email:warne1zd@cmich.edu
View More

Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
UNITED STATES

Do you have an event to add?

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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 competed in Los Angeles. See results and teams.


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.

LEARN MORE»

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Videos and Photos

Coaching in SerbiaCoaches from three countries met in Serbia to hone their skills.See slideshow »


Videos and Photos

In Deep WaterGo feet first for one of the newest Special Olympics sports.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

First Unity CupSpecial Olympics uses football to promote understanding.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »



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