First Lady Abby Cox, Utah Jazz and community partners to host Special Olympics Utah Unified Sports state basketball championship

Tournament will bring 380 students from 32 high schools together at Weber State University for a day focused on inclusion, empathy and sport

What: Utah First Lady Abby Cox’s initiative, Show Up, is focused on supporting the growth of the Special Olympics Unified Sports program across Utah schools. 

In support of this mission, the First Lady is joining with the Utah Jazz, Entrata, Weber State University, the Utah High School Activities Association and Special Olympics Utah to host the state Unified Sports basketball championship tournament. The event is free and open to the public. 

Tournament Features

Parade of Athletes

Opening Ceremonies

Semifinal and championship games

Awards ceremonies

“The Dunk Team” performance

VIP Event Features

Remarks by First Lady Abby Cox, Gov. Cox and Unified athletes

Panel hosted by First Lady Abby Cox featuring Unified parents

Community VIPs signing a  “Pledge to Include” banner


Weber State University

Wildcat Center and Swenson Gymnasium

Ogden, UT 84403


Wednesday, March 8, 2023

1:00 p.m. Speaker panel

1:15 p.m. Parent panel

1:45 p.m. Parade of Athletes

2:00 p.m. Opening Ceremonies

2:10 p.m. Performance by “The Dunk Team”

2:15 p.m. Awards ceremony for morning competitors

  • The Special Olympics Unified Sports/Unified Champion Schools program involves students with and without intellectual disabilities participating on the same competitive sports teams— fostering empathy, connection and inclusion. 
  • The First Lady is seeking Utah businesses and individuals interested in supporting Unified Sports programs through small financial donations. Interested parties should contact Kirsten Rappleye at [email protected]
  • “Special Olympics Unified Sports teams are the answer we’re all looking for. They bring together students of all abilities and encourage them to collaborate, build relationships, and develop empathy. It is my vision that every student in the state has the chance to participate in this program and experience its transformative power.” – First Lady Abby Cox
  • “The UHSAA is proud to partner with First Lady Abby Cox and Special Olympics Utah to provide education-based activities for students of all abilities. The Association is excited to see opportunities for Utah students to grow through partnerships such as these.” – UHSAA Executive Director Rob Cuff”
  • “We’re proud to host this event again this year. When our students and staff engage with Special Olympians, they’re helping to build that stronger, more inclusive community that we talk about so often at Weber State. It’s inspiring to see young athletes come together, not just for the competition, but for the camaraderie and team building.” – Weber State University President Brad Mortensen
  • “We’re thrilled to partner with First Lady Abby Cox, the Utah Jazz, Weber State University, Entrata, and the Utah High School Activities Association to host the Special Olympics Utah Unified Sports state basketball championship tournament. This event is a powerful demonstration of the importance of inclusion, empathy, and sportsmanship. Through Special Olympics Unified Sports, we can help break down barriers and create a more inclusive and welcoming society for all.” – Scott Weaver, Special Olympics Utah President and CEO