Guilderland & Amsterdam High School unified basketball teams face off Saturday
Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman announced this weekend’s MAAC Tournament at the Times Union Center in Albany will feature a halftime game between two Special Olympics unified basketball teams: Guilderland and Amsterdam high schools.
“Special Olympics New York unified sports teams are creating inclusive school communities in every region of the state, showing the world that, when you play unified, you live unified,” Hengsterman said. “We are thrilled to be participating in the MAAC Tournament again this year and grateful that our athletes have this opportunity to shine on the national stage.”
The game will take place during halftime of the first quarterfinal game Saturday between the Quinnipiac Bobcats and Monmouth Hawks, which begins at 7 p.m.
Guilderland High School athletes Sam Dougherty and Maggie Robinson, both seniors on the unified team, also participated in the NCAA postseason awards show, speaking to players, coaches and fans in attendance about the importance of Special Olympics New York programs and the impact unified sports have had on their lives.
Special Olympics New York partners with 145 schools statewide to offer unified sports, where students with and without intellectual disabilities compete alongside one another on the same team. In addition to the unified sports offered in these schools, youth leaders come together to plan activities that engage their peers, creating school and community climates of acceptance and inclusion.