Special Olympics New York Celebrates the Return of Unified Basketball

Albany, NY – Special Olympics New York and the New York State Public High School Athletic Association are proud to celebrate an ongoing 2021 Unified Basketball season as teams across the state have been back on the courts in recent weeks, following a year-long hiatus due to the global health pandemic.

“It’s been so exciting to see our Unified Champion School teams back in action,” said Special Olympics New York President and CEO Stacey Hengsterman. “The return of basketball season has been an incredible boost not only for the athletes and partners, but for everyone in our Unified Champion Schools.”

“Our partnership with Special Olympics New York and Unified Sports is the most rewarding program we are a part of,” said Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “We have seen firsthand the benefits and rewards of the Unified Sports in our schools. The relationships that are formed between student-athletes and partners is truly magical. We are thrilled that Unified basketball is returning, and we look forward to another exciting season for everyone who is participating.”

In Unified Sports, athletes with and without disabilities compete together as teammates. In New York, most Unified programs offer bowling and/or basketball. Statewide, Special Olympics New York partners with nearly 250 Unified Champion Schools and 10,000 participating students. Thirteen of those schools have earned National Banner School status, which recognizes their commitment to inclusion by meeting 10 standards of excellence. Banner status is the highest level of achievement for Unified Champion Schools in the nation.

Schedules for the remaining games can be found here.


About Special Olympics New York

Special Olympics New York is the largest state chapter in the country, serving more than 68,000 athletes across New York with year-round sports training, athletic competition, and health screenings. The organization also partners with about 250 schools statewide to offer Unified Sports, where students with and without disabilities compete as teammates. All Special Olympics New York programs are offered at no cost to athletes, their families or caregivers. The organization has earned the Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.com, making it one of the most trusted charities in the business nationally. For additional information about Special Olympics New York, to learn more about getting involved, or to make a donation, visit www.specialolympicsNY.org.