The unified basketball team at Plainville High school promotes a feeling of inclusiveness for all students, and earlier this week, the gym was packed to support them.
Five years ago, the Plainville High School Unified Sports program launched to give the opportunity for middle school students to play basketball with high school students.
Cheers from the crowd and smiles on players’ faces, the gym was packed to see the students ranging in grades from sixth to 12th hit the court.
Plainville Schools Superintendent, Maureen Brummett was amongst those in the crowd supporting student players on both teams.
“They all have various special education issues,” said Brummett. “But you would never know that from the way they just put their whole heart and soul into the game.”
Senior Krystina Torres has been playing on the Unified Basketball team for the last four years. She told Channel 3 Eyewitness Sports Reporter Caroline Powers that she credits her classmates for how far she has come in the game.
“They taught me how to steal the ball and they even practice with me, even told me how to dodge the basketball court and they told me how to grab it from a different player,” said Torres.
“And they even trained with me on how to steal the ball from other people and shoot from very far distances.”
Plainville Unified Basketball Coach, Jeri Lynn Turkowitz said one of their best characteristics as a team is their sportsmanship.
“All the athletes cheer for each other, they encourage each other,” said Turkowitz.
“They share the ball with each other. They want to make sure everybody has an opportunity to shoot and participate.”
After a big game against their teachers and parents, the student athletes showed that they are team full of winners.
“When you watch your student make a basket, when you hear the cheerleaders shout their name, the parents are beyond ecstatic for what their students have been able to accomplish by participating,” said Turkowitz.
Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.