Teacher vs. Unified Basketball Game


Last year, Unified became a part of the array of clubs West Morris Central has to offer and has had a significant impact on the school’s culture since then. Recently, the Unified club held a Unified versus staff basketball game. 

The game was scheduled for December 12, and was nothing short of a success, with the Unified team winning 53-50. Some of the teachers that participated included Mr. Frayne, Mr. Hennelly, Mr. Buchanan, Señor Cukar, Mr. Rymer, Mrs. Spaziano, Señora Seitz, Mr. Meyer, Señora Barnett, Mr. Geary, and more. The stands were filled with students, parents, and teachers prior to the start of the game and grew as the game went on. Before the singing of the national anthem by JoAnn Lou, the gymnasium was lively and the teams were being cheered on during warm ups by an attentive crowd.

As the national anthem came to a close, the excitement grew and the starting line up walked out onto the court. The game remained close for the majority of the first quarter, but as halftime approached, Unified took the lead. The remainder of the game was filled with excitement and support, especially from the Unified bench. Throughout the entirety of the game, the Unified bench was cheering on their teammates and never failed to support the ambitious players.

As an athlete, Nicole Balken, grade 12, understands the enjoyment of sports and wanted everyone to experience it. She has been a member of a club since the start and explains her encounter with the club and why she decided to join.  “No one should not be allowed to do whatever they’re passionate about, and I wanted to allow other kids to get involved and feel what it’s like to be part of a team.” 

The Unified club continues to grow and impact everyone at West Morris Central. Focused on furthering social inclusion through practicing and competing in various sports, Unified brings together those with and without intellectual disabilities and gives them the opportunity to play on the same team. By giving students the opportunity to grow and learn together brings about new friendships that might have never been possible if it were not for the Unified club. Beyond creating an impact within the club itself, Unified has had an affect on the community of West Morris Central merely by being inclusive of everyone and spreading a positive message. There is no doubt that Unified will continue to have this impact on the school and the community and will continue to flourish, bringing about friendships that will last a lifetime.