'Unified' athletes score big on new basketball team at NJ high school

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Monday, February 26, 2024
'Unified' athletes score big on new basketball team at NJ high school
Cole and Logan became best buds through the Unified Sports program, which was recently introduced at their high school.

VOORHEES, New Jersey (WPVI) -- The Special Olympics Unified Sports program has a mission to promote inclusion through sports across the country. Through it, athletes with and without intellectual disabilities can equally shine on the same playing field.

Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees has spent the last two years working on creating one such team for its high population of students with intellectual disabilities.

And this school year, they successfully introduced the sport of Unified Basketball.

"I want to get out there. I want to show people that I can do that, do this. I want to show the world what I can do," said student and athlete Cole McNeal.

McNeal's teammate, Logan Cherkas, and other partners have found new friends and learned leadership skills through the program.

"On the court, like, I always learn stuff from him," said Cherkas. "I've seen his moves and he's seen mine. He's also taught me to be a better teammate."

Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools programming appears in more than 8,300 schools across the country. To learn more, visit their website.

RELATED: Inspiring athletes take the 'Polar Plunge' for Special Olympics PA

Emmett Abdo not only got to carry the Flame of Hope, but also braved the cold at today's Philadelphia Polar Plunge!