By MARK BUERGER, Special Olympics Kentucky
Special Olympics Kentucky athletes will get the chance to practice and play on one of the most hallowed basketball floors in the world when Rupp Arena plays host to a Unified Basketball Clinic and Game on Wednesday from 6-9 pm.
The Clinic will be led by former University of Kentucky athletes, most of whom will go on to play in the Unified Game alongside Special Olympics athletes and other invited guests. Kentucky athletes scheduled to attend include Jack Givens, Jon Hood, Marquis Estill and former football player Anthony White.
The Unified Game is also scheduled to include State Senator Jared Carpenter, State Representatives Chris Harris and David Meade and Kentucky Commissioner of Education Stephen Pruitt. The Special Olympics athletes in the Game will be from Lexington, Georgetown and Richmond.
The Unified Clinic and Game are made possible by a nationwide partnership between Learfield Sports, which is the marketing agent for Rupp Arena, and Special Olympics. The event is sponsored by Central Bank, Kentucky Farm Bureau, Kentucky One Health and Kroger.
Unified Sports like basketball are a large and growing part of the Special Olympics sports program. Unified sports place traditional Special Olympics athletes on teams with teammates who do not have an intellectual disability.
Unified Sports often gives parents or siblings the chance to team with their Special Olympics athlete. When adopted in school settings, Unified Sports helps to build stronger, more inclusive school communities more accepting of students with disabilities.
WHEN Wednesday, February 22
6-9 pm – Unified Basketball Clinic and Game.
6:00 pm – Teams and Celebrity players/coaches arrive
6:40 pm – Welcome/Opening Remarks
6:45 pm – Unified Clinic begins
7:15 pm – Break
7:30 pm – Unified Game Begins
8:15 pm – Games ends/SOKY athletes tour UK locker room