Tonight, Unified Basketball played a hard fought game against Arapahoe and just barely lost at the very last second of the game, 68-70. Anywhere from the 250 people cheering in the gym to the smiles on the students’ faces, the positive atmosphere could be felt throughout the entire game.
At 7 pm, the game kicked off with the loud music coming from the band and the enthusiastic cheering from the crowd. The game was broken up into four, eight-minute quarters with fun breaks in between each quarter such as basket shooting competitions, poms routines, marching band songs and cheering so loud it could be heard from a mile away. LHS students took turns running down the court with their fellow Unified teammates. Each time a member of the team shot a basket, others would get the rebound and pass it right back to that player for a second chance at a shot. Even players in a wheelchair would be wheeled around with their peers and would also get the opportunity to make several baskets. Every time a basket was made, the audience members on both the Arapahoe side and the Littleton side went wild.
“I think it [the game] is good for them and for us. I think it’s good for everyone,” said sophomore Roy Marmolejo who came to the game to cheer for a friend on the team.
Each individual on the Unified team seemed to be having lots of fun. They had endless amounts of energy and threw the ball up in the air both to get individual points and to pass the ball, sharing it with their teammates and friends.
When asked what he did well in the game, junior Alex Vizurraga said that teamwork was the best part of his game. Vizurraga also said that his favorite part of the game was being able to play alongside one of his friends, junior Ruben Valdivia.
Sophomore Patrick McFarland said that his favorite part of the game was having his family’s support as they cheered from the stands.
“My favorite part is seeing how excited the kids get. Patrick is hilarious after he makes a basket and does his cowboy dance, and they all seem to have great personalities and have a great time. It’s fun to watch,” said Unified coach and special education teacher Nate White.
Unified Basketball is still going strong and is a bit over halfway through their season. They play a game once a week, and their season lasts for about two and a half months, which equates to around 10 games. They also participate in tournaments every so often.
Taking on the role of an audience member, an assistant, a coach or a teammate, Unified Basketball never fails to accomplish its main goal: uniting all.