Lexington, Ky. – On Wednesday Special Olympics Kentucky and Rupp Arena will team up for the second year in a row for a Unified Blue-White basketball game at the legendary home of the University of Kentucky Wildcats. The Unified game will pair Special Olympics athletes from Lexington and Northern Kentucky with former UK athletes and other invited guests during the evening’s marquee event.
Among those scheduled to take part in some capacity are Jack Givens, Jon Hood, former UK football players Anthony White and Austin MacGinnis, UK Football offensive coordinator Eddie Gran, UK Volleyball coach Craig Skinner, members of the UK volleyball team and members of the Kentucky State Legislature.
The Unified Game will be the main event of a night that will feature three games and include six Special Olympics basketball teams. The Madison County Madcats will play the Scott County Red Heat in a traditional Special Olympics game at 5 pm, followed by a second traditional game between the Louisville Royals and Lexington Defenders at 5:40.
The Unified game will appropriately be between the Lexington Wildcats and the Northern Kentucky Wildcats, along with their Unified partners. That game is scheduled to begin at 6:30.
The event will conclude with locker room tours for the teams and invited guests and a short reception.
Approximately 70 Special Olympics Kentucky basketball players will have the opportunity to take part in the games.
The Unified game is made possible through a national partnership between Special Olympics and Learfield Sports, which manages the marketing for Rupp Arena.
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.
Special Olympics is the world’s largest program of sports training and competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Participation in competitive events is open to all individuals eight years of age or older. Training and competition in local, area, state, and national programs is offered year-round in Kentucky in 15 sports. In addition to its traditional sports competitions, Special Olympics also offers early childhood programming through the Young Athletes Program and medical screenings though the Healthy Athletes Initiative. Special Olympics is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018.