Presque Isle will have a Unified Basketball Team

Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 10:53 AM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Presque Isle is the 65th school in Maine to have a Unified Basketball team. The Wildcats held their first practice last week and they are now preparing for their first game. This is an exicting time for the Unified Student Athletes and their Unified Student Partners

Braydon Abbott:” It’s a chance to play basketball finally and I am excited.”

Brayden Abbott will be part of a group making history when he puts on a Wildcats uniform in a Unified Basketball game later this month. Abbott loves basketball and is excited to be able to play it again after being away from the sport for a few years.

(Brayden Abbott):” It was actually the Rec Center when I played last played basketball, but that ended.”

Logan Smith is one of the Unified Partners and he jumped at the chance to help out.

(Logan Smith):” My little brother has autism so I wanted to help promote that even people with mental disabilities can and do make a difference. They can play sports. My little brother loves basketball so I am trying to show him he still has that chance, and he can play.”

Carl Michaud is the Unified Coach, and he is very happy to see this program get off the ground.

(Carl Michaud):” It’s an opportunity for us to get this team going. We have four athletes and eight partners signed up. Presque Isle High School has been very cooperative and behind the whole effort.”

Michaud explains who Unified basketball works.

MIchaud:” At all times there should be three athletes and two partners. The Athletes are supposed to do most of the work of course and most of the scoring. The partners are out there as coaches on the floor and to help them along.”

Athletic Administrator Mark White has been looking to get the program started for a couple of years now and he said that while the numbers may be low this year, he hopes that once people see the games they will want to take part

(Mark White):” We are very excited to get our Unified program going. It is great, the kids are having a good time and we have a great coach. We are a little slow going, our numbers get better and we hope what people see this year will help get interest for next year.”

Unified Basketball has been going on for several years throughout the state and this year they have well over 60 teams taking part.

Michaud:” This is an opportunity for athletes who may not have the opportunity to play on teams in High School. It gets them out there to collaborate with the partners and just have a good time and play basketball games.”

Abbott:” This is actually the first basketball that is Unified that I have been a part of.”

Smith jumped at the opportunity to help out, but he was honest and said he a sport he likes even more than basketball.

Smith:” I enjoy basketball I enjoy playing it, it is a good sport, although, I am a football kid I am not going to lie. Football is my go too, but basketball is a very close second.”