An error (Object reference not set to an instance of an object.) was encountered trying to format content from PageUrl=/rec/Static-Content/alert.htm Close Message
Milwaukee Recreation
Main Content

Ralph Davis State Unified Basketball Tournament

Join Milwaukee Recreation and Special Olympics Wisconsin on Wednesday, April 17 at the 2024 Ralph Davis State Unified Basketball Tournament! This event, now in its third year, celebrates sport, camaraderie, and togetherness as Special Olympics athletes and Unified Partners compete side by side.

Few aspects of our culture bring people together like sports, and Unified Sports are no exception. All six teams at the Ralph Davis State Unified Basketball Tournament feature players with and without intellectual disabilities, including 45 total Special Olympics athletes and 27 Unified Partners.

Three Special Olympics athletes and two Unified Partners from each team will be on the court at all times. According to the Special Olympics, “training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.”

Watch this video to discover the value of Unified Sports, and find more Ralph Davis event information below.


Event Information

Where: Wisconsin Lutheran College Recreation Complex (8725 W. Wisconsin Ave.)

When: Wednesday, April 17

Game Times (click here for full event bracket):

  • 9:30 a.m.: Neenah HS vs. Rufus King HS
  • 9:30 a.m.: Cedarburg HS vs. Nathan Hale HS
  • 10:15 a.m.: Washington HS vs. Neenah/King winner
  • 10:15 a.m.: Hamilton HS vs. Cedarburg/Hale winner
  • Third Place Game: 12 p.m.
  • Championship Game: 1:15 p.m.

Tickets: The event is free and open to the public.

Parking: Spectators are encouraged to use this WLC campus map for parking directions. Fans should park in the parking center (#12 on the campus map), exit the structure and walk around the Recreation Complex (#6), past the outdoor basketball court, and then take a right to the main gym entrance.

Ralph Davis' Legacy

When the late Washington coach Ralph Davis was inducted into the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association Hall Fame as a "Friend of the Game" on Sept. 24, 2023 he was described “as a GEM amongst us - a one-of-kind, precious GEM.” He loved his students and his students loved him. When he first joined the coaching staff at Washington High School, he said, "I will do this temporarily." He was still there 25 years later, continuing to build his legacy of successful students and athletes.

“Ralph was a true father figure and role model for students as a coach at Washington High School. He was very loyal to his school, his peers, and his teams, and he always put personal development over winning basketball games,” former Washington High School basketball coach Jay Kenseth said. "Ralph was the kindest, most gentle person you would ever meet. He was always willing to offer a helping hand."

Coach Davis offered his helping hand to WHS Special Olympics in December 2017, when Washington’s long time Special Olympics Coach, Mike Rein, passed away unexpectedly. Without hesitation, Coach Davis stepped in. At that time, Washington's Special Olympics Basketball program moved towards a Unified model, as Davis' players from the boys basketball team attended Special Olympics practices and run drills with the athletes. During lunch, Coach Davis had student-athletes both with and without disabilities gather around and talk basketball. It was the beginning of a move toward social inclusion at the school level.

Coach Davis naturally allowed students the opportunity to be seen, heard, and valued for who they are. He cultivated a culture of unity and camaraderie among his teams. He believed that every player, regardless of background or ability, deserved a chance to succeed. He brought this attitude with him when started coaching Special Olympics, and demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the well-being of his players. Because of his advocacy and push for inclusion, we are proud to bring athletes together from around the state and honor him through this annual unified tournament.

Special Olympics athletes, Unified Partners, and coaches from Washington High School discussed the importance of this program, and what it means to them and their school.



Lyndsay Linsmeier

Supervisor - Adaptive Athletics
Phone: 414-647-3860
Email: Lyndsay [at]

Adaptive Athletics Office

2414 W. Mitchell Street
Milwaukee, WI 53204

© Milwaukee Public Schools 2022
To top