Special Olympics Unified Basketball Team Wins Silver Medal in State Championship

by Regina Gennaro

The Special Olympics Unified Basketball Team from N. Atlanta H.S. won the silver medal in the State Championship Competition this past weekend in Marietta Georgia. The level of competition was very strong and we neither won nor lost a game by 4 points!

All of our athletes have incredible talent which was led by their coaches Ms. Lisa Oglesby and Mr. Nic Hill, who worked countless hours shaping this championship team. Each and every athlete contributed to the teams’ success by scoring, rebounds, defense, ball handling or just supporting each other. The determination of these fine athletes was evident as they played Friday and 3 games on Saturday. Although tired they continued to work as a team to come away silver medalists.

This was the first year we have had a unified team which consists of half Special Olympians and half their typical peers (partners). The partnership did not end on the basketball court. The team socialized together and roomed together; they were truly a “team” in every sense. There was no barrier, only teammates and friends.

Ms. Lisa Oglesby, MOID teacher at N. Atlanta H.S. and Ms. Regina Gennaro, Special Olympics Liaison for APS, decided this was an excellent time to form such a team as the climate at N. Atlanta H.S. was perfect for this union. Ms. Oglesby has had and continues to have several peer leaders wanting to work with her students. Her students have many opportunities to work and play with their peers and this bridging of the typical gap has become almost non-existent. Much credit goes to the administration and teachers of N. Atlanta H.S. who continue to be extremely supportive.

Congratulations to the team! It was a well earned victory and hopefully we’ll have many more in the future.

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