Unified Basketball

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Unified Basketball

Jean Ballou

Jean Ballou

Jean Ballou

Emily Stolarski

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On May 30th, the Lake Shore High School unified basketball had its last game of the year. The game ended in a tie and Lake Shore took 3rd place overall in their bracket. Additionally, one of Lakes Shore’s players Rachael Shanner earned the character award for the game.  Unified had a team of 21 players for the year. Each player had his or her own unique talents to bring to the team and it truly made for a great season.

Many of the players, including Olivia Alvira, had their own reasons for joining the Unified team.

“I went to every single one of the games last year and it seemed like a lot of fun and the team was really close,” said Alvira.

Another senior who joined the team this year is Ally O’Connor.

“I heard about it last year and it sounded like a pretty good community to be a part of and I wanted it to be part of my senior year,” commented O’Connor.

At the start of the season, coach Mike Bartolotti and Jean Ballou held practices every Monday and Wednesday. Each practice involved learning how to play basketball and to learn teamwork skills. Playing on the Unified team did come with its challenges. Olivia Alvira explained one of the most challenging things was actually playing basketball.

“Because I had no previous experience before and didn’t know how to play basketball,” stated Alvira.

Even though playing on the team was difficult at some points players were able to gain personal growth from being on the team.

“I learned how to work with a lot of different kind of people and how to encourage people,” Ally said.

At the end of the season, many of the players created some great new memories. Ally O’Connor described her favorite memory.

“When Tyler Griffin did a victory lap in the middle of a game after he scored a basket,” said Ally.

Overall, being part of the Unified Basketball team is a great experience. Players learn how to play basketball while also making new friends and great high school memories.  This year’s team was truly able to bond and become a family.