On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, Villanova University Men’s Basketball hosted the first ever Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Night at Nova Hoops. The evening was highlighted by a halftime Unified Sports exhibition game featuring Villanova students and members of the SOPA-Delaware County basketball team. All of the athletes who participated in the halftime exhibition were treated to free tickets to watch the National Champions take on the Butler Bulldogs in a Conference Showdown.
The event exemplified Special Olympics’ Unified Sports® at its best. Unified Sports creates an opportunity for people without intellectual disabilities to join in the sports experience by playing on a team with athletes with intellectual disabilities. Not only do the players all have fun, but attitude change and transformation happens on the playing field and the experiences create lifelong friendships.
SOPA Night at Nova Hoops was also a furthering of an incredible partnership between Villanova University and Special Olympics PA. Villanova hosts SOPA’s second largest competition event each year, known as the Fall Festival. Fall Festival is the largest student run Special Olympics event in the world that takes place each November with more than 1,000 athletes competing from across the state. 2017 will mark the 29th anniversary of Fall Fest.
Click here to view event photos
Click here to a read Delaware County Times news article about the exhibition