Ferris State Basketball Teams Up For 12th Annual Special Olympics Game Next Week

Ferris State Basketball Teams Up For 12th Annual Special Olympics Game Next Week

Big Rapids, Mich. - The Ferris State University men's and women's basketball teams will once again take part in an important cause as the Bulldogs team up for the 12th annual Charity Heart-to-Heart, Hand-in-Hand Special Olympics Benefit Game next Tuesday (April 18) night at FSU's Jim Wink Arena.

The Bulldog squads will team up to help raise funds for the local Special Olympics program in an event endorsed as a "Great Game for a Great Cause".  Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. (ET) and admission is free with donations accepted at the door.

The FSU student-athletes will split into two competing teams made up of both Bulldog men's and women's players along with local Special Olympics Area 5 athletes. This will be the 12th time that the game will be played in front of the FSU fans and the student body. 

The event is sponsored by the Sports Careers RSO as their end of the year philanthropy in tribute to the Area 5 Special Olympians. All proceeds raised at the event will go to the Area 5 Special Olympians. 

Special Olympians will mix with men and women from Ferris State's basketball squads to play for fun and glory and to raise funds to support Special Olympians from the area to attend Special Olympics events in Michigan and the region.

The event has served as a way for the Area 5 Special Olympians, who often attend Ferris State athletic events, to interact and join the players on the court and physically be part of a team. 

"The best part about the event is that this gives the Special Olympians the opportunity to be in the spotlight," said Special Olympics Sports Careers RSO Chair Sean Williams. "It also gives them a really unique opportunity to play alongside a lot of the athletes that they watch and follow all year long."

The game will feature evenly-divided teams between the Olympians and the Ferris State men and women's teams. 

"Our players love playing in this game every year and being teammates with the Special Olympics athletes," said FSU men's basketball head coach Andy Bronkema. "It is a great experience for our own student-athletes as well and we enjoy taking part in this game. We invite everyone to come out and cheer both teams on."

Special in-game promotional events will include an annual dunk contest featuring members of the 2016-17 GLIAC Champion Ferris State Men's Basketball squad, a three-point contest featuring members of each team along with many more. Celebrity judges will also be in attendance for the annual dunk contest in Wink Arena. 

Raffles and other fundraisers will be held to support the Area 5 athletes. various auction gifts will include a signed volleyball from the three-time defending league champion Ferris State women's volleyball team, a signed basketball from the 2016-17 GLIAC Champion men's basketball squad in addition to a signed football from Ferris State alumni and current NFL players Jason Vander Laan and Jacob Lampman, and many more prizes. 

Tip-off will be at 7 p.m. (ET) inside Wink Arena in the Ewigleben Sports Complex.

The event dates back to 2005 and presently the Sports Careers registered student organization on the FSU campus, along with sports communication program students, promotes and organizes the event in cojunction with the Area 5 basketball athletes.