ESPN3 will provide LIVE coverage of the third annual NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports® Basketball Game from the NBA All-Star Jam Session at Sprint Arena in New Orleans, La., during NBA All-Star Weekend on Sunday, Feb. 16, at 2 p.m. ET. The game will feature 12 Special Olympics athletes from around the world playing alongside NBA and WNBA stars and legends.
ESPN is a global presenting sponsor and official media sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports.
“This is a great opportunity to use the reach of all ESPN platforms to introduce Special Olympics Unified Sports to new audiences as we continue to grow participation worldwide,” said Kevin Martinez, vice president, global corporate outreach. “We are proud to be working with the NBA and The Coca-Cola Company to promote acceptance and inclusion in all communities through the power of sports.”
This year’s Unified Sports Basketball Game will include 2014 NBA All-Star Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves (player introductions); 2014 NBA All-Star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors and his father Dell (NBA Legend) (ceremonial ball tip); Michael Carter-Williams of the Philadelphia 76ers (honorary coach); Tim Hardaway, Jr. of the New York Knicks (honorary coach); Victor Oladipo of the Orlando Magic (honorary coach); Trey Burke of the Utah Jazz (honorary coach); Dikembe Mutombo (NBA Legend); Ron Harper (NBA Legend); Sam Perkins (NBA Legend); Detlef Schrempf (NBA Legend); A.C. Green (NBA Legend); Elena Delle Donne of the Chicago Sky and Special Olympics Global Ambassador; Lindsey Harding of the Los Angeles Sparks; Tamika Catchings of the Indiana Fever; and Ruth Riley of the Atlanta Dream.
The Unified Sports exhibition game will combine athletes with and without intellectual disabilities as teammates to showcase the power of Special Olympics’ Unified Sports, which helps to unite communities and foster an environment of acceptance and inclusion. In September 2013, The Walt Disney Company, ESPN and Special Olympics announced a two-year global initiative that will leverage the power of sports to promote an environment of social inclusion and acceptance, by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities through the Special Olympics Unified Sports program. With a multi-million dollar financial and in-kind investment, Disney and ESPN will support Special Olympics’ goal of registering one million Unified Sports participants, including athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities), teammates (individuals without intellectual disabilities) and coaches, by 2015.
About Team ESPN
Team ESPN, the corporate outreach program of ESPN, encompasses ESPN’s multi-faceted initiatives, including volunteerism, corporate giving and cause marketing, while also utilizing its diverse media assets. Through Team ESPN, ESPN employees and fans join together to make a difference in the communities in which ESPN works. Its slogan is “Fans Helping Fans.” Follow Team ESPN on Twitter @TeamESPN.
ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, Apple TV and Roku. The network is currently available to more than 85 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
About Special Olympics
Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 70,000 competitions throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Special Olympics Unified Sports is currently active in more than 2500 schools in 45 states, in the United States alone, with over 500,000 participants globally. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympics.org/blog.