Collaborative Special Olympics Event Featured by NCAA

The Special Olympics story of the Millikin University and Saint Mary’s College Women’s Basketball Teams hosting a qualifying event for the Illinois Special Olympics has won the February NCAA Division III Special Olympics Spotlight Poll.

While on the road for a pair of basketball games this season, the Saint Mary's basketball team joined Millikin University the day before their competition to host over 50 Special Olympians for a basketball skills clinic and holiday party. Players from both teams worked together to run the athletes through basketball shooting, passing and dribble stations.

The NCAA Division III Special Olympics Spotlight Poll is a new story-telling initiative located on ncaa.org/D3SpecialOlympics. It features three new stories per month – each highlighting a Division III and Special Olympics joint activity or event.

The story with the highest number of votes on the 25th day of each month is declared the winner. The joint effort between Millikin and Saint Mary's means that each school will get an additional $250 to help promote future Special Olympics events through resources made available by the NCAA.

Other perks for winning include being recognized in the Division III Monthly Newsletter and on the Division III Special Olympics website. Featured stories are selected based on inclusion of the student-athlete perspective and Division III messaging.

The February Special Olympics Spotlight nominees were:
· Millikin University and Saint Mary’s College Women’s Basketball Teams Host Special Olympics (462 votes)
· Augsburg College SAAC Serves Special Olympics (149 votes)
· Muhlenberg College Baseball Student-Athletes Take the Plunge for Special Olympics (77 votes)

"We are thrilled to continue to highlight our Special Olympics event with Millikin University," said head basketball coach Jenn Henley. "It was a wonderful opportunity to bring two opposing teams together for an incredible cause."