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Special Olympics introduced basketball to our lineup of sports in 1968, and it has been one of our most popular sports ever since. Basketball is also offered as a Unified sport, and more than 189,000 athletes and Unified partners train and compete every year. At the 2026 Special Olympics USA Games, we anticipate to host 5v5 and 3v3 competitions.

How It’s Played:
Whether you grew up with the sport or you are new to the game, here are some of the fundamentals to the game: Basketball is a fast-paced team sport played on a rectangular court, typically indoors and between two teams of five players each. The objective is to score points by shooting the ball through the opposing team’s hoop, which is mounted 10 feet above the ground. Players dribble, pass, and shoot the ball to advance it toward their opponent’s basket. The team with the most points at the end of the game, usually consisting of four quarters, wins. Basketball requires athleticism, skill, and teamwork, with players employing tactics such as offensive plays, defensive strategies, and quick transitions to outmaneuver their opponents.

Basketball will be held at the Multi-Activity Courts in the University Recreation and Wellness Center, or “RecWell.”
Basketball isn’t just about competition, it’s about connecting. On the court, you meet people from all walks of life, with different abilities and challenges, but one shared passion: the love of the game. It’s a powerful reminder that we’re all united by our spirit and dedication to something bigger than ourselves. Special Olympics embodies this spirit of inclusion and celebrates the joy of the game for everyone. I’m so proud to be a part of this movement and witness the incredible athletes who inspire us all.
Elena Delle Donne
Elena Delle Donne, 2x WNBA Most Valuable Player
Stats About Basketball
competing teams
Over 400 athletes, Unified partners,
and coaches will be participating!
total events
We plan to offer traditional 5v5,
Unified 5v5, and traditional 3v3!
Unified sport
Basketball is the most popular
Unified sport in the USA Games

Information regarding the schedule of basketball events will be published as we get closer to the 2026 USA Games. Be sure to check back here at a later date!


The results of the basketball events will be posted here following the completion of each event. Be sure to check back here at a later date!

Scenes from Basketball
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