Washington and Arizona Tip Off in Exciting Unified Hoops Action
By Ben Lennon
July 4, 2018
Tuesday night provided some exciting basketball action as the Washington and Arizona Unified Basketball teams squared off in Alaska Airlines Arena. Joined by a vocal crowd, the game promised plenty of highlights. With a whistle and the tip of a basketball, the teams jumped into action and the game was underway.
Unified Sports Experiences are a critical part of Special Olympics. Dedicated to promoting inclusion in sports, Unified teams join people with and without intellectual disabilities to train and compete together – having fun, working hard and learning respect and inclusion all at the same time.
Both teams displayed those values on the court. Washington’s passing game relied on each player getting open and making space -- creating clear scoring opportunities for the team. Arizona’s defense relied on a quick-moving zone where each player played an integral role in disrupting Washington’s passing game.
Though Washington jumped out to a quick lead, Arizona refused to quit, closing the gap near the end. While Washington held on to win, at the final whistle you could tell both teams had left it all on the court. As the teams met after the game, their smiles and handshakes showed they had nothing but respect for each other’s effort.