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Cibola hosts Special Olympics Basketball Day

The Cibola High School boys and girls basketball teams participated in a Special Olympics Basketball Event at Cibola Raider Gym on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019.

Cibola’s National Honor Society and Interact Clubs sponsored the event location, and helped out with setup and takedown as well.

“It was a fun day of basketball,” said Mary Nielsen, Special Olympic volunteer coach and Cibola staff member. “It was so successful we hope to make it an annual event.”

Five teams participated, including two Special Olympic teams, Cibola boys and girls basketball teams and an Antelope High School alumni team. The Cibola boys officiated games and the boys and girls teams took turns keeping scorebooks and running the clock.

Yuma City Councilman Mike Shelton opened the games presenting a certificate and officially naming February 2 as Yuma Special Olympics Basketball Day.

There were several Yuma Union High School District students, past and present, participating on the Special Olympics basketball teams. One such player is Conner Smith, a Kofa High School graduate and assistant to Coach Joe Daily with the boys basketball program at Gila Ridge High School. Smith recently earned a spot on the Arizona Adult Unified Basketball team. Arizona will represent the USA at the Special Olympics World Games in Dubai and Abu Dhabi March 14-21, 2019. Smith will be traveling with six other athletes, four partners and two coaches. Each athlete has been asked to raise money on their own to help fund the trip, so if you would like to contribute to helping Smith get to Abu Dhabi here is the website:

Also, the Special Olympics cheer team kept the crowds and teams going, while the Elks Club provided a spaghetti lunch for all participants and spectators. The event was well attended by spectators, parents, and officers from the Yuma Police department.  And at the end of the event, gold medals were presented to the first and second place teams by the Little Miss Princesses.

Check out the photos from the event at

Special Olympics Team

Kevin Swearingin