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With a lot that appears to divide individuals lately, it’s heartwarming to see unified basketball proceed to develop and convey younger athletes collectively throughout the state. Aroostook County gained its second unified crew in January with Presque Isle becoming a member of the pattern.
If you wish to give us a flagrant foul for extreme sappiness, go forward. We nonetheless assume this mixed effort, which connects gamers with and with out developmental disabilities and is led by the Maine Principals’ Affiliation and Particular Olympics Maine, is an excellent show of togetherness and sportsmanship that ought to frequently be celebrated. And we’re not alone.
“Should you discuss to many ADs it’s the most effective factor we do,” Maine Principals’ Affiliation Assistant Govt Director Mike Bisson advised the Bangor Every day Information final yr after a pair seasons of COVID-19 suspension and curtailment. “It’s thrilling to have this again and see the grins and pleasure round Unified basketball. I don’t care who you’re, if you go away the fitness center after a Unified basketball recreation you’re often feeling fairly good about life.”
That’s no small feeling. Unified basketball has been having this constructive impression for years. Take the best way it was described by a number of members and their dad and mom again in 2016. “Life-changing” and “the most effective factor ever” have been fairly sturdy endorsements on the time. We now have to imagine that the identical is true immediately, and hope this would be the expertise for gamers in Presque Isle.
That crew’s season began Jan. 2 and runs by means of March 10. The crew consists of a couple of dozen excited gamers, and in a current interview their coach anticipated 4 to 6 video games for the season.
“The Maine Principals’ Affiliation put this type of crew collectively to permit alternatives for people that won’t have all of the alternatives to play on sports activities groups,” Carl Michaud, the top coach for Presque Isle’s Unified crew, advised Star-Herald and BDN reporter Paul Bagnall. Michaud hopes different county athletic administrators will kind groups as properly, both as particular person cities or with cities and college districts forging partnerships.
“Hopefully some groups will begin up as properly, but additionally there’s a possibility for collaborations,” Michaud mentioned. “I do know there’s loads of groups within the state which have a couple of city making a crew like this.”
We hope so, too. In any case, collaboration and creating new bonds are core components of unified basketball. As we wrote again in 2016, “Successful championships is thrilling. The acceptance and understanding are the bigger victories.”