The Leavenworth County Special Olympics program has announced the annual Ralph Matzeder Special Olympic Invitational Basketball Tournament is scheduled to take place February 15 at Leavenworth High School. 

Seventeen teams are scheduled to participate in the one-day event and each will play at least two games. In addition to five teams from the Leavenworth program, teams from Blue Valley, Kansas City, Kansas and Douglas County will participate. 

Athletes from Leavenworth County will also participate in the annual Make the Point free throw shooting fundraiser prior to the tournament. Donations to the fundraiser will help support expenses for travel costs involved with the State Special Olympics basketball tournament in March, as well as other expenses incurred by the program for its other sports.

The tournament is named after Matzeder, who was a longtime supporter of the Leavenworth Special Olympics Program. 

“He (Matzeder) was an advocate for individuals with intellectual disabilities and was instrumental in the founding and building of the Riverside Resources Workshop,” Leavenworth Special Olympics program coordinator Vicki Lozenski said. 

The opening ceremony of the Ralph Matzeder Special Olympic Invitational is scheduled to begin at 9:15 a.m. Saturday in the main gym at Leavenworth High School. Tournament play is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in both gyms. 

Admission to the tournament is free to the public. Raffles and concessions will be available with all proceeds going to the Leavenworth County Special Olympic Program. For more information about this tournament or the Leavenworth County Special Olympic program, contact Vicki Lozenski or call or text at 913-683-8531.