Oneida's Unified Basketball Program
Oneida's Unified Basketball Program
Posted on 05/15/2019

If you haven’t had a chance to check out a Unified Basketball game- you are missing out!

 

Unified Basketball is a program Oneida started piloting in Section 3 last year through the cooperation of Special Olympics and NYSPHAA. Teams are comprised of students of all abilities; some that haven't really had the opportunity to play on a varsity level sport before.

 

“We opened it up to anyone interested not already playing a spring sport/and not already having played basketball for Oneida this year, and we have a team of 13 ready to compete- of which 8 are returning players,” said Coach Robinson.  “In addition, we have two players from last year volunteering to serve as our manager and assistant coach, and two other alumni that stop by to cheer us on. We have been working on a better understanding of teamwork, the basics of basketball, and good sportsmanship.“

 

The games are made up of four 8 minute quarters. During half-time a skills competition is held (for those students that are unable to safely follow the rules of the game or don't feel ready to play) to show off their skills in dribbling, passing, and shooting. 

 

This year Oneida’s Unified Basketball team competes against Camden, VVS, New Hartford, CVA, and Whitesboro. The season ends with a tournament at the end of May with other CNY Unified schools. 

 

The Unified Basketball team has been a very positive experience for the members of the team. “It brings kids together that do not always have the opportunity to interact-forming friendships with an emphasis on mutual respect for each other, the team, myself, and our opponents. Some of the members on my team improve academically during the spring, attend school more regularly, and make more positive behavior choices because they don’t want to miss out on practicing or playing in a game. For some members of the team, playing a sport and being a part of Unified has improved self-confidence and willingness to try something outside of their comfort zones. Although we strive to be competitive athletically against our opponents, the emphasis for us is about improving ourselves both as a team and individually by working together. Each member of the team, as of our Camden game on 5/13, has scored at least one basket so far this season-all 13 kids.  All eligible team members sub in and out of every game in an attempt to get everyone as much playing time as possible. The sportsmanship and character displayed by our team is far more important than the number of steals we make or rebounds we get. I am proud to coach Oneida Unified Basketball,” said Coach Robinson.

 

Oneida’s Unified Basketball plays at home on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 4pm inside the 57 Gym.

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