WXXI AM News

Unified Basketball in Greece

Apr 30, 2015

Unified Sports is in Monroe County, and Thursday the Greece Unified Basketball team plays its first game against Churchville-Chili

The co-ed team is comprised of students from Greece Athena and Olympia with and without intellectual disabilities.

Coach Sara Murphy says it's set up just like any other JV or varsity game, and it's a very positive experience for the kids involved.

"For a lot of these kids, they don't get the opportunity to be on a team, so Unified allows them that opportunity and when you see it, it is the example of what inclusion should look like," Murphy said.

One of the players is senior Signory Kapend, a general education student.

"When you're practicing with them, you forget that they have difficulties, and you see them as you would look at another player or a teammate."  Kapend said.

Unified Sports was inspired by the principle that playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.

Murphy says the game consists of four 8-minute quarters, with a skills challenge at halftime.

She says that's all about giving students a chance to be successful at a level that they are able.