🏀 Jayhawks Host Wilt Chamberlain Special Olympics Clinic
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Fresh off a road win at Kansas State in the Dillons Sunflower Showdown, No. 1 Kansas took time off from the grind by hosting more than 100 Special Olympians at the annual Wilt Chamberlain Special Olympics Clinic Sunday afternoon inside historic Allen Fieldhouse.
Nine teams from Special Olympics Kansas spent more than two hours with the nation’s top-ranked team as the goals were lowered in Allen Fieldhouse. Following a group stretch, the clinicians broke up into their teams and rotated among stations such as ball handling, layups, free throws, dunks and scrimmages. The clinic concluded with the Jayhawks signing autographs for the Special Olympians.
“It’s great to get the Special Olympians here and our players and staff enjoy it and get a lot out of it,” KU head coach Bill Self said. “It’s easier to do after a win. I know sometimes we’ve done it after a tough loss but they always picked us up and made us feel better.”
The annual Special Olympics clinic began in 1984 by former head coach Larry Brown. It was then renamed for KU legend Wilt Chamberlain, who left money from his estate to sustain the program.
“This is a great event we do every year,” KU senior Mitch Lightfoot said. “We get to hang out with some very important Jayhawks, some people that really look up to us. We get to interact with them and it’s a very special event.”
Teams from all across the state of Kansas participated in the 2020 event. They included: Douglas County Jayhawks, KCK Kings, Shawnee Storm, Wichita Independents, Wichita Jayhawks & Mustangs, Saline County Blue Thunder, Junction City Pacesetters, and the Butler County Blazers.
No. 1/1 Kansas (26-3, 15-1 Big 12) will host TCU (16-13, 7-9 Big 12) for Senior Night on Wednesday, March 4, at 7 p.m. on Big 12 NOW/ ESPN+. KU seniors Udoka Azubuike and Isaiah Moss will be honored before and after the contest. The Jayhawks hold a one-game edge over Baylor (25-3, 14-2) in the 2019-20 Big 12 race with two games remaining. KU can clinch at least a share of the regular-season title with a win against TCU on Wednesday.