Hundreds to Compete in Special Olympics Indiana’s 47th Annual State Basketball Tournament

by | Mar 23, 2018 | Press Room

Teams and individuals from across the state will converge on Indianapolis March 24-25 for two final days of competition in the Men’s and Youth divisions.

INDIANAPOLIS — Special Olympics Indiana’s annual State Basketball Tournament culminates Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 in Indianapolis, where nearly 1,000 athletes and unified partners making up 80 teams from across the state will compete in the Men’s and Youth State Finals.

Competition in the Men’s divisions will be held at Ben Davis High School, with games and other activities scheduled Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The University of Indianapolis will host the Youth Tournament, with all events to be held in Nicosin Hall and the Ruth Lilly Fitness Center Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Sponsored by the Indiana Pacers and Indiana Fever, the tournament is open to the public and free to attend.

“This is Indiana, and basketball is in our blood,” said Special Olympics Indiana President and CEO Jeff Mohler. “Some of our best athletes will be competing this weekend, playing the game they love — and this is a great opportunity for the people of Indianapolis to come out and get a taste of what Special Olympics is really about.”

Youth Tournament

For the seventh consecutive year, the Youth Tournament will be managed by students from the University of Indianapolis’ Sport Management program and staffed primarily by a group of student volunteers. A total of 18 co-ed teams will compete Saturday, with more than 200 Special Olympics athletes and unified partners aged 8 to 21 expected to participate in team and individual competitions.

The event will begin with a skills and development clinic for participating Special Olympics athletes, to be hosted by the university’s men’s and women’s basketball teams from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m. Opening Ceremonies will be held at 10:30 a.m. in Nicosin Hall, featuring Pacers mascot Boomer and entertainment by the Power Pack. Tournament games and individual skills competitions will commence at 11:30 a.m., with additional activities for all ages to be held throughout the day.

Men’s Tournament

After qualifying at one of seven sectional tournaments on March 17, approximately 60 teams and more than 700 athletes and partners will make the trip to Indianapolis to compete for medals. Traditionally held in Terre Haute on the campus of Indiana State University, the 2018 Men’s state finals will be hosted for the first time by Ben Davis High School.

Tournament action begins Saturday at 10 a.m., with games to be played concurrently on five courts throughout the day. Winners in each division will advance, with all gold medal games played Sunday.

Women’s Tournament

Special Olympics Indiana’s 2018 State Basketball Tournament also includes a Women’s bracket, the finals for which were held Mar. 10-11 at DePauw University. Gold medals were awarded in a variety of divisions, with state champions representing the organization’s Howard County, Montgomery-Parke Counties, Wayne County, Porter County, Ripley-Ohio-Dearborn Counties, St. Joseph County, and Shelby County programs.

Learn more about Special Olympics Indiana and the State Basketball Tournament by visiting

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Special Olympics Indiana is a not-for-profit organization that provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in more than 20 Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, reaching more than 14,000 athletes across Indiana. The organization receives no federal or state appropriated funds, is not a United Way agency, and relies entirely on corporate, civic and individual donations. For more information about Special Olympics Indiana, call (317) 328-2000 or visit

Nathan Barnes, Manager of Grants & Communication | (317) 328-2008