Jayhawks Host Special Olympians For 27th Annual Wilt Chamberlain Clinic

Feb. 27, 2011


Following an exciting 77-61 win over Nebraska Saturday evening, the Kansas women’s basketball team got to celebrate with more than 100 Special Olympians as the Jayhawks played host to the 27th Annual Wilt Chamberlain Basketball Clinic Sunday afternoon in Allen Fieldhouse.

The clinic is sponsored by former KU legend Wilt Chamberlain who left the money to fund the event in his estate. The Special Olympians came from all across the state of Kansas and the Kansas City metro area. Typically the event is hosted by the Kansas men’s basketball team, but with the Jayhawks stranded in Oklahoma due to the fog the KU women gladly stepped in.

“We were honored to get the call,” said Kansas head coach Bonnie Henrickson. “We held a clinic in January with the Douglas County Special Olympians and I told our team that because they were so good at that clinic, they get to do it again. This is one of the best things we do during the season. They (Special Olympians) share the same love and enthusiasm for the game that our players do. It makes for a really fun afternoon.”

“It’s always great to work with the Special Olympians,” said KU sophomore Carolyn Davis, who recorded a career-high 36 points in the Jayhawks win over Nebraska. “I’m sure some of them were disappointed that the men’s team wasn’t here, but I’m glad we got to fill in for them.”

With the goals lowered in Allen Fieldhouse, the Special Olympians broke up in groups and participated in eight different stations meeting and learning with the Jayhawk players, coaches and staff. High fives, fist pumps, hugs and many smiles brightened the faces of the Special Olympians and KU contingent. The clinic concluded with an autograph session.

“It was a great way to spend the afternoon,” said Davis. “They’re (Special Olympians) a great group of people to hang out with. They understand and know how to play the game. It’s fun to learn from them and to teach them. We are all just here to have fun.”

The Wilt Chamberlain Clinic is just one of many community service activities the Jayhawks volunteer with throughout the year. KU previously hosted the Douglas County Special Olympians for a clinic in January and have worked with the WillowDomesticViolenceCenter on the “WE SHARE” project and participated in the “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” event with Cottonwood, Inc., in the last year.

Kansas will put its three-game winning streak on the line when it travels to No. 24/25 IowaState on Tuesday, March 1. The Jayhawks (19-9, 5-8 Big 12) and Cyclones (20-8, 8-6 Big 12) will tip off at 7 p.m., at Hilton Coliseum.