Houlton ready for Unified Basketball debut

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 10:11 AM EST
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HOULTON, Maine (WAGM) - The Houlton Unified basketball team has been on the hardwood this week preparing for their first ever game on Monday in Orono. The team held another practice today in preparation for the game.

(Ellen Dyer):” First of all I am very excited. I have honestly lost some sleep just thinking of all the potential this program has. This has always been kind of a dream that I wanted to come to the school. I think Jon was able to help bring this to the school. When he said he had permission to bring Unified basketball to the school. I said sign me up.”

(Elliot Mooers):” They are pumped, and I think that is only matched by the coaches. This is something we wanted to get going for a while. I used to work in Westbrook and they had a Unified team and it was just a beautiful experience.”

Athletic Director Jon Solomon has been at other schools where the program has become very successful.

(Jon Solomon):” I have seen it before and with my background in Special Ed and with Dr Flack we thought we could me it a reality up here. Several schools in other parts of the state have been involved in the Unified program for several years.

Solomon:” It’s still five on five we have three unified athletes and two partners that will play in the game. They play 2 20 minute halves and at halftime there is a little dance party that goes on with YMCA and Cotton Eyed Joe.”

The Athletes, both the Unified Athletes and the(partners are very excited

(Conner Ames):” It’s an exciting time for everyone. It’s going to be exciting for the people watching, people playing, people coaching. This is a good thing for everyone.”

(Sarah Weymouth):” It’s really exciting for the team to come in every Wednesday and Thursday and practice together and have a bond with each other.”

The team will play an intersquad game during winter carnival events tomorrow in front of the student body and then on Monday they travel to Orono to play a game. Everyone involved feels this will be a sport that continues to grow in both Houlton and around the County.

Dyer:” I don’t think I have seen this much excitement in a group of kids in a very long time. Getting into a sport and playing with other peers. Some of these kids they have been before and others they never met before. I think it is exciting for everybody to get involved and play as a team.”

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