NEENAH, Wis. (WFRV) – The ‘Neenah Unified Basketball Team’ brings students of all abilities together to compete against the faculty ‘All-Star’ Team for their annual ‘Phase One’ basketball game.
Addie Fredrickson, a senior soccer player and ‘Phase One’ organizer said, “It’s really cool, seeing all the kids come out with their happy faces and having our community come out to support such an awesome group of kids is really cool.”
Players said this is a great opportunity for them to be more involved at school.
“It’s always just so cool to give back and see everyone, all the kids be happy and just enjoy their time playing,” said Carter Thomas, a senior basketball player. “And it’s just exciting doing a game that I play as well and to see them be successful and happy doing it.”
Special Olympian Alicia Langlois said for her it’s all about having fun.
“It doesn’t matter if you have special needs or not, you can just have fun,” said Langlois. “It doesn’t matter if you have disabilities, you should just have fun and not give up and hang on tight and you should just believe in yourself.”
But, for Alicia, scoring a buzzer-beater at the half doesn’t hurt either.
The coach of the Special Olympics teams said this is about more than just basketball, it’s about creating lifelong friendships.
“When they’re in the hallway and they see their basketball teammates and they say hi and talk to people they just really feel a part of the school community,” said Coach Chad Oeftger.
The Unified Student Team beat the Faculty “All-Stars’ 23-22.