8 Special Olympics Basketball Teams to Compete in Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout in Bloomington


Shootout a Part of State Farm Holiday Classic on Dec. 30

NORMAL, Ill. – Eight Special Olympics Illinois teams will compete in the 12th Annual Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout as part of the State Farm Holiday Classic on Dec. 30 at the Shirk Center at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

Eight Special Olympics teams from around the state will play in the Shootout – SOAR (Special Opportunities Available in Recreation) Thunder and Bulls of Bloomington; HISRA (Heart of Illinois Special Recreation Association) Gators of Peoria; Rushville High School Rockets; Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation Mustangs; Lincolnway High School Hawks 1 and 2 of Frankfort; and Thornwood High School Thunderbirds of South Holland.

Each team will compete in three games in the elimination tournament. Shootout play begins at 9:30 a.m. and continues through 5:30 p.m. on Courts 1-4 at the Shirk Center. View Shootout competition bracket.

In addition, 8 Special Olympics teams will play demonstration games during half-time of each of the four Holiday Classic championship games which start at 3:30, 5:15, 7 and 8:45 p.m. Dec. 30 at the Shirk Center.

The Shootout began in 2002 as a way to incorporate Special Olympics basketball teams into the Holiday Classic activities. In 2005, the Shootout was renamed the Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout in memory of Ron Knisley, Director of Sports and Competition for Special Olympics Illinois, who died earlier that year. Knisley had been a longtime Holiday Classic committee member and was instrumental in establishing the Shootout.

The Ron Knisley Memorial Shootout is a sanctioned Special Olympics Illinois event and is presented by the State Farm Holiday Classic Committee and SOAR, which is a community therapeutic recreation program that is jointly sponsored by the City of Bloomington and the Town of Normal through their Parks & Recreation Departments.


Contact: Michele Evans, Special Olympics Illinois, mevans@soill.org, 309-660-8497