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Rip City 3-on-3 Breaks Down Competitive Barriers

Research has shown that attitudes toward those different than us quickly break down through interaction; we better understand and empathize with others perceived as different than us by identifying shared passions.

It is with this research in mind that the 2016 Rip City 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament, Portland’s premier amateur hoops event, will feature a Unified Sports Division for the first time. The Unified Sports Division is just one of six competitive divisions, but it’s the only one that integrates athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on the same teams. The tournament will be held at Portland’s Rose Quarter Campus on July 30 and 31.

“This is a chance for our participants to show what they are capable of,” said Torre Chisholm, Chief Development Officer of Special Olympics Oregon. “It allows non-disabled players to develop an understanding of people with disabilities; it’s amazing for building commonality.”

The tournament also features a Special Olympics Division, as well as others devoted to youth (boys and girls), high school (boys and girls), adult (men, women and mixed teams) and elite (men and women).

This year marks the third year that Special Olympics Oregon has partnered with the Portland Trail Blazers and Les Schwab Tire Centers to put on the Rip City 3-on-3, which has raised more than $50,000 for the Special Olympics.

The funding helps support Special Olympics Oregon, which puts on 30 regional competitions across 15 sports throughout the year—that’s in addition to organizing practices across the state nearly every day.

Last year’s tournament featured 16 Special Olympics teams, but Chisholm is hopeful that the new Unified Sports Division will bring even more intellectually disabled athletes into the fold. “While we have 13,000 who currently participate in Special Olympics Oregon, there are as many as 100,000 statewide with intellectual disabilities.”

In addition to the scheduled games, the tournament will also feature plenty to keep noncompetitors entertained, including a slam dunk contest, an interactive games area and various vendor booths.

Les Schwab Tire Centers has been a proud partner of the Rip City 3-on-3 Tournament since 2014 and is proud to be the presenting partner this year. For more information on the tournament or to register as a competitor, please visit the official Rip City 3-on-3 website.

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