Phoenix Suns Host Clinic for Special Olympics Athletes of Arizona

By: Allison Leach,
Posted: May 12th, 2009

On Saturday May 9th, the Phoenix Suns and the Special Olympics of Arizona partnered to host a clinic for the Special Olympics athletes at the US Airways Center. Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry, Suns alum Ced Ceballos, and NBA Legends Matt Fish and Bernard Thompson were on hand to teach the athletes basketball skills and encourage these athletes to stay persistent and never give up.

The clinic opened with Special Olympics of Arizona President and CEO Tom Fraker welcoming everyone to this great event and introducing Phoenix Suns head coach Alvin Gentry. Gentry went on to introduce the other NBA Legends as they helped divide the 70 athletes into four groups that would rotate to different skills stations around the US Airways Center main and practice court.

On the Practice Court, Fish worked with the athletes on their rebounding skills while Thompson worked with them on passing. On the main court, Gentry held dribbling race relays and shooting contests while Ceballos taught the athletes different shooting techniques. Athletes did several rounds of lay-ups, foul shots and jump shots before moving on to the next station.

After fifteen minutes at each station, athletes got a chance to refuel and take group pictures with Gentry, Ceballos and the NBA Legends to commemorate their experience at the US Airways Center. During this time, the Phoenix Suns Gorilla made a surprise appearance and got the athletes pumped up and congratulated them on all their hard work at the clinic. Everyone who attended the clinic received an autograph from The Gorilla, Coach Gentry, Ceballos and all of the NBA Legends. After the Special Olympics of Arizona athletes received their autographs, they signed a banner wishing the Phoenix Mercury good luck on their upcoming season.

Every athlete from Special Olympics of Arizona and their families were overjoyed to be at the US Airways Center to take part in the clinic. Not only were they able to perfect their basketball skills, but also able to get one-on-one instruction, support and tips from some of the best in the NBA.

For more information about the camps, please call (602) 594-CAMP or e-mail: