The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

Unified Basketball Plays MIHS Varsity in the Presence of Spirit

Christine Kenyon

In a Unified Basketball game on Thursday, Feb. 16, MIHS’ Unified Basketball team defeated players from the MIHS Varsity Basketball teams 55-39.

Unified is an athletic program that dedicates itself to providing disabled athletes the opportunity to play on a sports team, and provide a spirited and competitive environment.

Though disabilities can affect the progression of the game, student mentors and peers help the game by playing alongside the Unified athletes.

“Unified teams allow students with and without disabilities to play together as a team and have a team-like experience,” Unified Supervisor Christine Kenyon said. “They get to bond in tournaments and practices and it allows players who may not make a varsity sport a chance to play a sport they love.”

Though the rules of Unified Sports are enforced more lightly than the usual games, the main point of the program is to create a positive environment for disabled students while playing.

“I want everybody to have a good time. I want people to feel proud of their achievements, and I want people who may be athletically skilled to also understand different varieties of skills,” Kenyon said.

Many students and parents were present during the game while cheering for the Unified team. When the game reached halftime, the Unified team took the lead 28-16. Sparkle Cheer danced and performed, letting the spirit rise in the gym.

“I think we did great,” Unified athlete Ben Murawski said. “My favorite part of the game was being able to play as a full team, and the fact that it’s a home game.”

The game ended with the Unified team winning 55-39. Families cheered and hugged each other in celebration of the last basketball home game, while simultaneously seeing their children enjoying their time on the court.

“We had a great game, everyone had playing time.” Murawski said. “I’m super glad for all the fans that came and watched us play, it was a fun game to attend.”

It’s worth celebrating that this is Murawskis’ Final basketball game at MIHS, with more to come in the future.

The Unified team is looking forward to continuing play in the upcoming Unified Soccer season.

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    Ben MurawskiMar 2, 2023 at 10:41 am

    Great article!