New United Basketball team unites students

Brendon Pricco, Staff Reporter

A new basketball team is coming to Okemos High School. The team will feature a balance of general education students and students with special needs, the Okemos Unified Basketball (OUB) team. The Okemos athletic director Brian Fuller and the teacher in the ASD room, Nicole Hagen, have been the main organizers of the team.
The OUB team would present a good opportunity for students with special needs to feel more included and have a chance at getting a taste of what it feels like to play a high school sport. They are able to create new friendships with peers, have fun, and learn some basic basketball skills. This also creates more awareness about students with special needs and give general education students the chance to understand their peers more.
Not only is it beneficial and fun for students with special needs, it also is for general education students.
“The gen-ed students get a better understanding of students with disabilities. They get to be friends with them and get to know them as people, and a lot of our kids are really, really cool people,” said Hagen.
As of now the tentative schedule for the OUB team includes five game days with the team playing two games each night. They will be playing games at Holt, Haslett, Mason, Eastern Field House and Waverly. Unfortunately there are no home games, but for the students willing to drive, being in the student section is a great way to support our fellow peers that don’t often get opportunities like this.
“If we can get a cheering section of students who want to come out and support us, that would be really amazing,” said Hagen.
This is an exciting new opportunity on it’s way this season for both general education students along with special need’s students.
“It gives them an opportunity to give back to the community and be apart of something that’s bigger than just focused on themselves,” said Hagen.