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Abel Mehari

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Abel has found inspiration in basketball ever since he saw Michael Jordan in action in a 'best of' highlight reel.

His family moved to the US in 1989 from Eritrea, and he was born here in 1992. When he was a toddler, his parents found out he had intellectual disabilities. In school, kids would bully him during class and recess. He says this “made me feel that I didn’t belong in this world but playing basketball allowed me to feel free and let go of my pain.”

He adds, “Special Olympics has opened many doors for my future with college and basketball. Playing for Special Olympics has helped me to mature as a man and allowed me to discover other talents that I never thought I had, including helping me in school to stay motivated.“

Now 24, Abel has been taking college classes. NOTE: He was also chosen for the 2015 NBA Cares Special Olympics Basketball Game in NYC and named to the 2015 World Games USA Basketball team that won silver in Los Angeles.


About Me:

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all.


See this video story about Abel's local Honorary ESPY award.
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