THE ALGONQUIN HARBINGER

Unified Basketball season ends strong

Players+work+on+their+basketball+skills+during+a+practice.
Players work on their basketball skills during a practice.

Players work on their basketball skills during a practice.

Jordan Manousos

Jordan Manousos

Players work on their basketball skills during a practice.

Hayley Gillerin, Staff Writer

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The unified basketball team succeeded in growth and collaboration and achieved a record of 8-0 this season.

Unified basketball is a league put on by Special Olympics that anyone can join, as players put all their effort into the game and smiles and cheers fill the room.

“[My favorite part was] watching the kids enjoy themselves; it made me really happy watching them play,” sophomore Nardly Pierre-Jerome said.

Head coach Ken MacDonald has been  coaching the team for three years now, and he has gotten to witness the wonders of teamwork over the years.

“My favorite part is seeing the kids form friendships and collaborating together, working together to use their skills and be good teammates as well,” MacDonald said.

The unified basketball team usually meets twice a week for practices and at least once a week for games.

“[During practice,] the kids really like to scrimmage,” MacDonald said. “They also like to work on shooting, dribbling and more skills and also just having fun.”

The unified basketball team this year was made up of 25 students. According to MacDonald, the number of players increases every year and they are “really excited to keep growing the program.”

The team came out of the season undefeated. They played other Central Mass Midland Wachusett teams in the area, as well as teams from Milford and Franklin.

The players are quite proud of their work this fall, as they improved tremendously throughout the season.

“I am still so proud of everything I did this season,” sophomore Sofia Roumiantsev said. “It was an incredible season, and I want to continue my dream as a basketball player.”

Even the little things during the season matter to players such as Roumiantsev.

Roumiantsev was excited that she “had number one on [her] jersey,” and she said she was thrilled when she made four baskets against Marlborough.

Students were extremely supportive fans of the team this season. At home games, many  students filled the bleachers and constantly cheered both teams on as they played.

With both the players and the fans enjoying the games, the gym was filled with excitement and happiness from the moment the games started.

MacDonald said he plans to coach again next year.

“I really enjoy it and I think the team did well this year and I love seeing the kids have fun and make new friendships,” MacDonald said.

With such a strong season this year and a growing program, it is looking positive for next fall when MacDonald and the team pick up Unified Basketball again.

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Unified Basketball season ends strong