MCW coaches Special Olympics Unified Game

by Max Rappaport Writer

by Max Rappaport,
Posted: February 16, 2014

NEW ORLEANS –– Sunday night, the best basketball players in the world will take the floor at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans for the 2014 NBA All-Star Game. Earlier in the day, another group of All-Stars were on display down the street at Jam Session’s Sprint Arena.

Since 1979, the NBA and Special Olympics have worked together to organize tournaments, raise awareness, and foster an environment of acceptance in inclusion. Sunday afternoon, the two held a game featuring 12 Special Olympics athletes from around the world, along with NBA Legends Dikembe Mutombo, Detlef Schrempf, Ron Harper, A.C. Green, and current WNBA players Tamika Catchings, Lindsey Harding, Ruth Riley, and Special Olympics Global Ambassador Elena Delle Donne. Rookies Michael Carter-Williams, Victor Oladipo, Tim Hardaway, Jr. and Trey Burke served as honorary coaches.

“I think to come out here and see smiles on these kids’ faces, and them showing passion for the game, it’s really important,” said Carter-Williams, who is the Sixers’ spokesperson for their partnership with Special Olympics Philadelphia. “I had a great time doing this, it’s something I enjoy. I feel like I’m giving back and it makes me appreciate the game.”

His squad won the game 63-53, and asked after the game about what Sixers head coach Brett Brown would have thought of his coaching debut, Carter-Williams laughed. 

“I think he [would have been proud],” he said. “We got everyone involved, got everyone scoring on our team, and everyone was happy – we were dancing and playing competitively, so I think he would have been happy.”