Cayman’s Smilley to play in NBA Cares game

Andrew Smilley - SOCI

Special Olympics Cayman Islands’ athlete Andrew Smilley is one of 12 players from around the world selected by Special Olympics to compete in the 8th Annual NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports ® Game on Friday, 15 February 2019 in Charlotte, NC as part of NBA All-Star 2019. The game will take place at Bojangles Coliseum at 5:00pm ET.

The NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Game represents a 44-year global partnership between Special Olympics and the NBA. Taking place each year during NBA All-Star, the Unified Game pairs an equal number of Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and NBA and WNBA players and legends in a 40-minute game of inclusion and acceptance.

This year’s Unified game will feature 12 Special Olympics athletes representing 7 countries, as well as athletes competing in Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. Each athlete will enjoy an unforgettable NBA All-Star experience, including a meet-and-greet with members of the NBA family and tickets to events throughout the week.

Andrew Smilley started his Special Olympics career swimming competing in the pool and open water in four Special Olympics World Games. This year he is headed to Abu Dhabi as part of SOCI’s Unified Basketball team.

“We are proud to continue our partnership with the NBA and to be leaders in creating more inclusive opportunities to play the game. The annual unified game gives us another opportunity to showcase the abilities of not only the Special Olympics athletes, but the power of Unified Sports to change hearts and minds,” said Editra Allen, Director of Games and Competition.

First held at NBA All-Star 2012, the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Basketball Game continues the long-standing partnership that started when the league helped to introduce the sport of basketball to Special Olympics more than 40 years ago.

Following the game, NBA and WNBA legends will host more than 50 youth athletes from local Special Olympics Programs for a basketball clinic at the Charlotte Convention Center. The NBA and WNBA legends playing alongside these determined athletes on 15 February will be announced in the coming month.



Micheal Wright, Canada*

Andrew Smilley, Cayman Islands*

Janaiya Warren, United States (Florida)

Brendan Connolly, Ireland

Ashley Aldrich, United States (Massachusetts)

Marquise Ledbetter, United States (North Carolina)

Mikami Hayato, Japan*

Micah Gumness, United States (Wisconsin)

Kyle Emery, United States (Colorado)

Sebastijan Abel, Germany

Leanne Woolfe, Great Britain*

Kellie Hearne, United States (North Carolina)

*competing in Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019

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