LONDONDERRY — Friendly competition is the name of the game this weekend as athletes from around the region gather for the Special Olympics New Hampshire State Basketball Tournament.
More than 800 Special Olympics athletes fully able partners are expected to participate in this weekend's games, which will take place at venues in both Derry and Londonderry.
The statewide competition follows two area assessments held earlier this spring in Salem and Keene, which determined each team's current division.
"Basketball continues to be one of our most popular athletic offerings and continues to grow," Gretyl Macalaster, communications manager for Special Olympics NH, said in a release.
This year, there are 64 teams from around the state, most of which will be represented at tonight's opening ceremonies at Pinkerton Academy of Derry.
Among the weekend's highlights is a competition between the team that's representing New Hampshire in the 2014 USA Games in New Jersey this summer and three other teams in their division. The game is set for Saturday at 9 a.m. at Pinkerton's Hackler Gym.
Unified full-court events will take place at various locations, including Pinkerton, Londonderry Middle School, Matthew Thornton Elementary School, North Londonderry Elementary School and West Running Brook Middle School in Derry.
Traditional full-court competition will take place at Londonderry High School; Unified 3-on-3 competition will be held at the Ernest P. Barka Elementary School in Derry; traditional 3-on-3 will take place at Derry Village School and individual skills competition, including spot shot and dribbling, will take place at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School in Derry.
All competitions are free to attend and open to the public.
Special Olympics New Hampshire is still seeking volunteers to assist with timing, scorekeeping and lunch serving at the events this weekend. For more information on volunteer opportunities, contact Miranda Morse at 624-1250, ext. 24, or firstname.lastname@example.org.