Kansas WBB Hosts Clinic for Special Olympics

Jan. 15, 2013

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GoodrichLAWRENCE, Kan. – More than 60 Douglas County Special Olympics athletes and their families took the court with the Kansas women’s basketball team during a basketball clinic at Allen Fieldhouse Tuesday night.

Following a brief shoot around and introduction from Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson, the participants were split up into groups to stretch and travel from station to station. Jayhawk student-athletes guided the groups through various basketball related drills, working on skills such as form shooting, layups, footwork, defensive stances, rebounding and passing.

The clinic continued with several basketball games involving the participants and Kansas players.

“We get to do a lot of special things throughout the year but if you asked any one of us, they’d tell you this is one of their favorite,” Henrickson said. “To be able to come out here and give back to young men and women who love the game like we do and embrace how much celebration after a single basket or a nice pass – just the energy and love they have, it’s fun to be able to share that with them. It’s an opportunity to teach a little bit, but as much as anything just share some time with them.”

The event is a prelude of sorts to Kansas’ Special Olympics game against Big 12 Conference newcomer West Virginia, Feb. 9, in Allen Fieldhouse. During that contest, the Jayhawks and Kansas Athletics will join a conference wide initiative to eliminate the use of the R-word, and Special Olympians will play a significant role in the evening, including cheering and playing a basketball game at intermission.

The campaign, called Spread The Word To End The Word, will be emphasized at selected Big 12 games throughout the season and continues an effort started in January last year. Fans are urged to go online to R-WORD.ORG and digitally pledge to eliminate the use of the R-Word.

Kansas will return to Big 12 Conference play Saturday when the Jayhawks travel to Texas Tech for a 7 p.m. tip-off in the United Spirit Arena. Kansas will then start a three-game homestand against Texas (Jan. 23), Oklahoma State (Jan. 26) and Iowa State (Jan. 30).

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