Welcoming Milford’s first Unified Basketball Team!


Dyana Rice, Features Editor

Sitting on the bleachers of Milford High School’s Fieldhouse, more and more fans file in. Suddenly, the doors to the locker room burst open and a basketball team surges onto the court. Hollars and cheers fill the air and the crowd goes wild. But this is not the usual group of boys or girls basketball players; this is a unified team. On Jan. 28 and Feb. 17 Milford High School proudly presented it’s very first Unified Basketball Team. 

Milford’s Unified Basketball Team started in David Gilbert’s Leadership class as a committee. This team combines the Milford High School special education students with general education students. Several Leadership students took part in creating this amazing team. “We created this team to give special education students the chance to have a similar experience as being on a varsity level team,” said Lizzie Thornton, a Junior. “It also seemed like something the students could truly enjoy.” Leadership students were drawn to the idea to create an activity where everyone could feel the excitement of playing in front of a crowd. 

“We wanted to start a program where we can incorporate us and the special education kids together,” said Maddie Feltmate, a Senior.

Many people may not be familiar with the special education program at Milford High School. This team gave these students a chance to step outside their comfort zone and make some lasting memories. Milford’s Unified team played between the JV and Varsity games each night and involved hundreds of spectators. “It was a fun opportunity to see that side of the school that we don’t usually interact with,” said Junior Jack Stander. “It’s also really cool to see the athletes light up and enjoy the crowd’s cheers.” Molly O’Connell, a Senior and special education student, expressed her excitement to be a part of the team, “It was a cool thing to do and I really liked when my parents cheered me on in the stands.” 

As the basketball season comes to a close, so will Milford’s Unified Basketball Team. Through the amazing friendships and experiences, this team will be one of Milford’s proudest programs and hopefully will be incorporated in the future. “We anticipate starting this idea with other sports as well, not just basketball,” said Ethan Groh, a Senior. This is just the beginning and there is so much more to come for this team. “I can speak for all of us when I say we are truly so excited to see what the future looks like for this team,” said Thornton.