State Stories

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Special Olympics Illinois & IHSA Team Up For First-Ever State Unified Basketball Tournament

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Special Olympics Illinois athletes, Unified Partners and coaches from across the state will gather at the March Madness Experience inside the Exhibition Hall at the Peoria Civic Center, this Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18, as part of the IHSA State Basketball Tournament for the first ever Illinois High School Association/Special Olympics Illinois State Unified Basketball Tournament.

Game schedules are as follows:

FRIDAY, MARCH 17
Game 1 -  1:00pm on Court 1: Mt Vernon vs. Metea Valley
Game 2 -  2:30pm on Court 1: Hononegah vs. Homewood Flossmoor
Game 3 -  1:00pm on Court 2: Salem vs. Thornton
Game 4 -   2:30pm on Court 2: Plano vs Princeton

SATURDAY, MARCH 18
Game 5 - 1:00pm Division 1 3rd Place Game on Court 1
Game 6 - 1:00pm Division 2 3rd Place Game on Court 2
Game 7 - 2:30pm Division 1 Championship Game on Court 1
Game 8 - 2:30pm Division 2 Championship Game on Court 2

Special Olympics Unified Sports is a fast-growing initiative that brings people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team to compete. Over 500,000 people worldwide take part in Unified Sports, which helps to break down stereotypes about people with intellectual and promote social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences.

Unified® sports include players with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team competing against other Unified teams. Teams are comprised of people of similar age and ability.
Special Olympics Illinois and the IHSA have joined forces for the 2016-2107 school year and they share a common goal to promote athletic opportunities for student athletes.

The IHSA and Special Olympics Illinois jointly offer Unified Bass Fishing and now, Unified Basketball.

To compete in the tournament, athletes must have trained for at least eight weeks. Senior/Male and High School teams qualified through one of nine district tournaments in the state. All teams will play at least two games, and the tournament will be played according to IHSA rules.

The public is welcome to attend this tournament. Tickets are $2.00 or free with a ticket to the IHSA Class 3A/4A games.