Recent Posts



Laurence Bowers welcomes SOMO athletes to annual basketball camp

Camp Bowers Group Photo

COLUMBIA – Former MU basketball star Laurence Bowers teamed up with Special Olympics Missouri (SOMO) at his 9th annual Camp Bowers at the Columbia Sports Fieldhouse, July 10-12.

Bowers provided six SOMO athletes and four Unified partners scholarships to attend Camp Bowers. The SOMO participants were included on teams coached by local athletes, including several MU basketball players. Three of those players were Hannah, Micah and Sarah Linthacum – the daughters of SOMO President and CEO Larry Linthacum.

“”My favorite activities were 5-on-5 and knockout,” SOMO athlete Abel Gully said. “I liked meeting new people. I’ll see you again next year!” 

SOMO athlete Maurice Sanders-Ritter said his favorite part of camp was working on his shooting.

“Friends have been really helpful at camp,” Sanders-Ritter said. “Thank you Laurence Bowers!”

SOMO had several staff members at Camp Bowers throughout the week, including Unified Champion Schools Manager Emma Thomas.

“This was a phenomenal opportunity for our athletes, Unified partners and families,” Thomas said. “Everyone at the camp went the extra mile to make sure our athletes were included and were improving their skills. I hope every camper and coach will remember the skills, courage and joy our athletes shared. I appreciate Laurence Bower’s dedication to inclusion!”

The parents of the SOMO athletes were thrilled to see their kids included during Camp Bowers, and they were incredibly grateful for the opportunity.

One parent said, “Without the scholarship and support from Laurence Bowers and the SOMO staff, my son would not have been able to come to a basketball camp. By learning these skills, he is becoming more confident!”

As for Laurence Bowers, he said it meant a lot for him to include SOMO athletes and Unified partners in his camp.

“It means a lot to me because you know a lot of times when you’re dealing with athletes that have intellectual disabilities – they tend to get left out and that shouldn’t be the case,” Bowers said. “I’ve done a lot of work with Special Olympics Missouri, with Brian Neuner, Andy Reid, I got to go to his Evening with Andy Reid a year or two ago, and it just kind of stuck with me. When I was at Mizzou, we used to do stuff with Special Olympics Missouri, so I just thought that this platform is so big and why not include them and let them have a great time.”

SOMO cannot thank Laurence Bowers enough for this opportunity!