Good Sports: TRAC Unified Basketball

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Basketball league focuses on inclusion and unity (KFSN)

Sports has the power bring together people from all walks of life. A local basketball program created this year is focused on unity and inclusion.

"This is Unified Sports. This is Special Olympics teamed up with Clovis Unified School District to put special education athletes on the same team with general education athletes so they can experience high school sports," said Clovis East Unified coach Cynthia Contreras.

Beginning this past fall, the Tri-River Athletic Conference which includes all the Clovis Unified Schools and Central High created the TRAC Unified Sports League combining special education and general education students in the sports of soccer and basketball with every athlete earning a varsity letter.

"When I first joined the team it was just an inspiration. I just love playing for this team and leading my teammates," said basketball player Ryan Teasley.

"I think everyone if you give them the opportunity that's another great thing about the program it gives them the opportunity to shine, versus without it nobody would ever know," added basketball player Alex George.

From early March to late April, games were played once a week with all the teams playing at one host school. Creating a mini tournament type feel with a crowd intensity that rivals any championship game.

"The response we've gotten from the community and from our schools is outstanding. The kids have a great opportunity, they are out having fun, people are excited, there's a lot energy in the gym," said CUSD director of educational service Joe Aiello.

"For some of the kids they've been waiting to their whole lives to get on a varsity team and it just hasn't happened for them, so this is a dream come true," said Contreras.

Dreams becoming reality, unifying all, creating the ultimate team sport.

Related Topics:
sportsgood sportsspecial needs childrencentral unified school districtfresnoFresno
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