As a dominant sport in the Tar Heel State, it should come as no surprise that basketball is also a mainstay in the Special Olympics North Carolina (SONC) program. Basketball is one of the most popular sports with 95 local programs offering it and over 10,000 athletes throughout the state.
SONC offers three types of basketball competition: individual skills, 3-on-3 team, and 5-on-5 team.
Individual skills competition allows Special Olympics athletes to develop sports skills in a competitive format designed as a stepping stone for athletes to team competition. The indvidual skills offered for basketball are passing, dribbling, and shooting.
3-on-3 basketball team competition is played on a half-court with three players a side (six player on a roster maximum). Games are played with two ten-minute halves with a running clock. The winner is determined by who has the most points at the end of full time, or the first team to 20 points.
5-on-5 basketball team competition is played on a regulation basketball court and follows North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) rules, with some modifications. Games are played by four eight-minute quarters with a running clock. The winner is determined by the team with the most points at the end of full time.
The UNC Chapel Hill Basketball Athlete Clinic is offered to SONC athletes and features skills stations run by the members of the UNC Chapel Hill men’s basketball team. Registration for this clinic is limited to 100 athletes, and information will be made available prior to the clinic.
SONC Fall Tournament is held in High Point during the first weekend of November. At that time, skills competition and 3-on-3 team competition will occur; 5-on-5 will alternate with 3-on-3 and be offered in 2017. Skills competition will be offered every year at the state level.
Durham County Basketball Invitational – Durham – February 25
Forsyth County Basketball Invitational – Kernersville- March 4
Forsyth County will be hosting a basketball invitational on March 4th at the East Forsyth High School in Kernersville. Competition is open to 3v3 and 5v5 teams as well as individual skills athletes. Registration forms are due to Latoya Price by February 8th.
Haywood County Basketball Invitational – Waynesville – March 10-11
Haywood County will be hosting a basketball invitational beginning on March 10th and ending March 11th at the Waynesville Recreation Center. Competition is open to traditional and Unified 3v3 teams. Lunch will be provided for athletes, coaches, and registered volunteers on March 11th. Register by contacting Tim Petrea by February 24th.
Mecklenburg County Basketball Invitational – Charlotte – March 11
Mecklenburg County will host a basketball invitational for both 3v3 and 5v5 teams at the Charlotte Latin School in Charlotte. There is no fee for this event. Registrations should be submitted to Greg Morrill by February 24th.
For more information on Unified Sports basketball, check out this video from SOI and ESPN.
Sport Development Team
These volunteers advise SONC staff regarding sport rule modifications, competition and also train coaches in their sport! For more information on the basketball sport development team, contact one of the members below or the Sports Department.