North Central News

David Williams plays basketball for Special Olympics

Arizona native David Williams became a member of VALLEYLIFE in 2014 when he joined both Day and Vocational Services. VALLEYLIFE is a nonprofit organization that offers group homes, daytime activity centers, vocational programs, and home- and community-based services to individuals with disabilities.

Williams started working in the Group Supported Employment program, performing pool and landscaping services, later moving to the janitorial services program.

About three years ago, Williams decided to give basketball a try. Previously he had tried other sports and competed in Special Olympic events including bowling, bocce ball, golf and softball, but did not care for most of them. Williams discovered he really enjoyed basketball and decided to join the VALLEYLIFE Vipers Special Olympics Basketball team. That first year, Williams won a gold medal.

The next year, he transferred to a day program at another organization, but continued to play Special Olympics basketball in the new program. He has since won two more gold medals.

Williams really enjoys showing off his basketball skills. He believes much of his ability comes naturally but admits he does put a lot of time into practicing, running and working out. His favorite NBA team to follow is the Phoenix Suns.

All of Williams’ practice and natural talent have earned him a place on Team AZ. He competed against approximately 100 other athletes to secure his place on the team. He can play all the positions because of his superior ball handling skills, but he mainly plays small forward, power forward or shooting guard.

This summer Williams will travel with Team AZ to complete in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, Wash. It will be his first time on an airplane.

Then next March, David is scheduled to travel to Abu Dhabi to play basketball in the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games. These will be the first Special Olympics World Games held in the Middle East and it is estimated that 7,000 athletes will compete in 24 sports over seven days.

To donate to help David and his team train, travel and compete, go to https://www.classy.org/team/128646 to support the Adult Unified Basketball team. This page currently is raising money for the Seattle 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. Once the funds needed for the USA Games are reached, this page will be updated to raise funds for the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games.

When you reach the site, you will click the donate button. On the next page you will select your amount and click the checkbox underneath your donation amount that states, “Dedicate my donation in honor or in memory of someone.” Choose the “in honor of….” selection and type “David Williams” in the Honoree’s Name boxes. Enter the remaining required information to complete the transaction and click the “Give Now” button at the bottom of the page.

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