Unified hoops starts up

Lucas Counts, Staff Writer

“Anyone can do anything,” Issaquah School District paraprofessional and Unified activities advisor Julie Hicks said. “If someone has an intellectual or physical disability, they can still be an athlete. People with disabilities can still be a part of teams and clubs.”

At Liberty, this club is known as Unified Sports, which aims to connect people with and without intellectual disabilities. Unified Sports run on this simple principle: training and playing together is the path to friendship and understanding. Everyone has value and is good at something. Everybody has their strengths, and everyone can grow; some people just learn differently. This isn’t bad, it’s just different. Some people are different learners and simply need the tools to help them learn so they can be their best students.

Liberty’s Unified Basketball team is understanding of this and works to give each player the support that they need to play their best game. They have begun practicing in preparation for their upcoming season. The team will have their first game in mid-January and their last game in March. The team, who shares the court with fellow King County schools, would love it if Liberty students came to watch them play and cheer them on. Liberty’s Unified Basketball team is a supportive community that welcomes all athletes.

“It’s a great opportunity for students with and without accommodations to work with people who are different,” Hicks said. “Working with different kinds of people makes us more well-rounded.”

The Fundamentals: Coach Lindsay Barnes works with Carter Vuong (12) on his ball-handling skills at a December 9th practice.