A 22-year old basketball player from La Union was selected as the first Filipino to take part in the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game, as part of this year’s at NBA All-Star Jam Session in New Orleans.
Raymond Macaspac of San Fernando City will join 12 Special Olympics athletes from around the globe, playing alongside NBA and WNBA players and legends on Sunday (Monday, Manila time) prior to the 63rd NBA All-Star Game that evening.
“As the first Special Olympics athlete from Philippines to play in the NBA Cares Special Olympics Unified Sports Basketball Game, Raymond will represent his community, to advance understanding of people with intellectual disabilities in the Philippines,” said Kaye Samson, national director of Special Olympics Philippines.
First held at NBA All-Star 2012, the Special Olympics Unified Sportsbasketball game will combine athletes – with and without intellectual disabilities – as teammates to showcase the power of Special Olympics’ Unified Sports, which helps unite communities and foster an environment of acceptance and inclusion.
“Since joining Special Olympics, Raymond has overcome his shyness, gained social skills and confidence through sports, and most recently, led his basketball team to a gold medal for the Special Olympics 2013 Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle, Australia," Samson said.
"We are very thankful to Special Olympics and the NBA Cares for their efforts to change and touch many lives."
“BigMac” will play for the East Team in third edition of the annual event along with players from the US, China, Senegal and Egypt.
As part of the NBA All-Star experience, the 12 Special Olympics athletes will be treated to an unforgettable NBA All-Star experience including dinner with an NBA legend, in-arena recognition at State Farm NBA All-Star Saturday Night, and tickets to the NBA All-Star Game.