Special Olympics Hoops Slated for Nike 3-on-3

Nearly 50 Special Olympics Southern California athletes will be among the thousands of basketball players flocking to the streets of downtown Los Angeles for the Nike 3-on-3 at L.A. Live on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 5 and 6.

The street basketball tournament, which started in 2009, turns L.A. Live into a giant playground with approximately 100 courts and features more than 1,500 teams, 5,000 players and 25,000 spectators from around the country.

Joseph Gorin Nike 3on3 STORY

Joseph Gorin is among the Special Olympics Southern California athletes playing in the Nike 3-on-3 event .

Nike’s 3-on-3 event promotes inclusion with Special Olympics and wheelchair divisions, and Joseph Gorin is happy to return and be treated like the rest of the participants.

“It’s a great, fun event,” he said. “Last year we were invited to play on the main court. It was the greatest thing on Earth.”

Added his mother, Special Olympics Orange County coach Ticky Gorin: “It is big. Usually, we’re trying to bring the community to us. By including Special Olympics, we’re being treated the same. [The athletes are] so proud to say we’re going to play in the Nike 3-on-3.”

The 12 Special Olympics teams are made up of:

Team Athletes
Garden Grove Rebels Cody Nicholson, Kenny Meza, Joe Hreish and Michael Pham
Sky’s the Limit David Guzman, Ruben Lurma and Frank Guzman
Hawks Max Grasso, Alex Hunt, Spencer Van Duzer and Sean Campbell
Hawks II Joseph Gorin, Tom Tabacchi, Skyler Ludin and Michael Lopez
Hawks III Joey Barraza, Jose Fernandez, Shane Cline and Trevor Minnis
Hawks IV (co-ed) Monique Oropeza, Adam Hogan, John King and Bryce Hicks
Central Riverside Dorcell Hogan, Oscar Gutierrez, Mark Hyde and Richard Wallace
Anaheim Panthers Richard Angeleas, Romales Allen, Chris Johns and Carlos Johnson
Panthers Two Tyler Gordon, Barnard Grays, Jesus Gonzalez and David Brown
Panthers Three Alejandro Bustos, Joshua Lopez, Bruce Vertrees and Ryan Lopes
Riverside Slamers Michael Albert, Mason Anderson, Ted Leonard and Tramond Willerson
Riverside Smash (co-ed) James Vance, Matthew West, Kiana Buffington and Joe Stewart



Other divisions range from youth (8 and 9 years old), senior youth (10-12 years old), teens (13-19), adults (20 and over) and elite (18 and over). Divisions also include male, female and mixed gender teams.

A celebrity basketball game, presented by iHeartMedia Los Angeles and radio station Real 92.3, will start the festivities on Aug. 4 at Microsoft Square. The celebrity game will benefit DJ Damage’s nonprofit, Follow the Dream Foundation.


Attendees are encouraged to use the West Garage (Lot W, Gate B, enter on Chick Hearn Court) if staying for more than 3 1/2 hours. A flat rate ranging from $10-$30 (depending on event) is payable upon entrance. Attendees parking in the West Garage can stay as late as they wish without parking validation.

For visitors staying two hours or less, the East Garage (Lot E, enter on Olympic Boulevard) or West Garage (Lot W, Gates E and F, enter on Georgia St. and turn on West Road) are available. Some establishments at L.A. Live validate parking.



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