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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

November 05, 2014 | North America: Illinois

How i got in Special Olympics

By Zack Melau

Hello my name is Zachary Robert Melau and I am currently an athlete. I compete in Special Olympics. I started 13 years ago.View Story Hello my name is Zachary Robert Melau and I am currently an athlete. I compete in Special Olympics. I started 13 years ago. I was 8 years old. I competed in the following sports in Special Olympics: track and field, basketball and snowshoeing and bowling. When I was a baby, I got baby heart surgery. I got back on the team. Help them win UIC in Chicago.

About Zack Melau:i am 21 year old male who loves Special Olympics
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November 05, 2014 | North America: Illinois

My whole life story from the beginning

By Nick Joseph

Well it started when I was 9 years old. I started to play sports at that age. My Special Olympics sports are floor hockey, soccer, basketball and volleyball, so I was glad I played those.View Story Well it started when I was 9 years old. I started to play sports at that age. My Special Olympics sports are floor hockey, soccer, basketball and volleyball, so I was glad I played those. Special thanks to coach Dave and my others from 54. Coach Kelly and Coach Chris and Mike Storka. And now how did I get into Special Olympics? Well it started off as me going to junior high which is Frost and I wanted to try out for the basketball team for regular boys. Turns out though, that I was not good enough to play but that didn't stop me from playing sports. For my friends in Special Olympics, I say to you and people, "Read this and think that oh well why not give up", then well, I will tell you why not give up: because when finally you realize that you try be good at something you're not good at, you can't give up just because you aren't good at it. You practice and think what am I doing wrong and you tell yourself, "Hey I may not be the best but I'm trying to have fun. That's all you need to know. Have fun. Never give up or quit. Thanks.

About Nick Joseph:I'm an athlete who believes that you can improve your sports or anything if you try and don't give up at all. Thx
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October 09, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Singapore

NBA 3X Raises S$5,000 for Special Olympics Singapore

By Karyn Tan

Horace Grant (left) assisting one of NBA Cares athlete during the NBA Cares clinic for athletes from Special Olympics Singapore, Singapore Disability Sports Council and Grace Orchard School at Stadium Roar on 27 September afternoon. (Photo Credit: NBA 3X)

A total amount of SGD$5,000 was raised in support of Special Olympics Singapore during NBA 3X Singapore, the 3-day basketball fiesta held from 26-28 September 2014.View Story A total amount of SGD$5,000 was raised in support of Special Olympics Singapore during NBA 3X Singapore, the 3-day basketball fiesta held from 26-28 September 2014. Back for its second edition after a successful debut last year, the NBA 3X Singapore ended on a high with the winning teams of the 3x3 competition taking part in the adidas’ Shoot-For-Charity Challenge to raise funds for charity. An amount of more than $400 was raised at the challenge and the NBA contributed additional funds to bring the final donation amount to S$5,000. NBA Legend Horace Grant, who was also in town for the event, conducted a special clinic for the athletes of Special Olympics Singapore, Grace Orchard School and Singapore Disability Sports School as part of the League’s NBA Cares’ program.

About Karyn Tan:Communications Manager, Asia Pacific region
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Upcoming Basketball Events




November 23, 2014

Elena Delle Donne Girls Basketball Clinics - Pennsylvania

Elena Delle Donne, professional basketball player with the WNBA Chicago Sky and 2013 WNBA Rookie of the Year will host two Girls Basketball Clinics for 2 camps of girls ages 7 – 12 and 13 – 18 years of age that will encourage the importance of activating youth to promote inclusion in schools via Unified Sports® through basketball. Unified Sports pairs players with intellectual disabilities with players without intellectual disabilities to play together. The Unified Basketball Clinic will involve students from Episcopal Academy and local Special Olympics athletes.
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Episcopal Academy
Newton Square, Pennsylvania

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!
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David Shindley
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ISU & IWU Campus
Bloomington, Illinois

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.
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Schedule Details
Mike Czarnowsky
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Hood College
401 Rosemont Ave

Frederick, Maryland

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
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World Summer Games Los Angeles 2015
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Various Locations, Los Angeles
Los Angeles , California

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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.


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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 »


Special Olympics - Become a Fan

Special Olympics Transforms Lives Through the Power of Sports

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