Unified on and off the court

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  • Photos by William DimmitThe 2019 Crusader Unified Basketball team and coaches.

  • The Crusaders fans respond as the Monroe-Woodbury Unified Basketball team kicks off the 2019 season.

CENTRAL VALLEY — The third season of the Monroe-Woodbury Unified Basketball team promises to be more exciting than ever.

On Monday, April 8, in the high school main gym, the M-W community, including families and fellow athletes, gathered to cheer on the Unified athletes during a pep rally and intra-squad scrimmage.

Unified Basketball pairs special education athletes with playing partners. Basketball is one of the Project UNIFY offerings in the partnership between the New York State Public High School Athletic Association and Special Olympics New York. It is recognized as a varsity sport at Monroe-Woodbury and five other Section 9 schools.

The M-W team is coached by M-W High School teacher Anthony Verboys. He is assisted by varsity players Melissa Alfano, Taylor Neely and Toni Neely.

M-W High School teacher Tricia Allen serves as advisor to the Youth Activation Committee (YAC). Monroe-Woodbury’s YAC consists of high school students who “empower other youth to encourage the next generation to be inclusive of people with and without intellectual disabilities, and not exclusive.”

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