The George Mason Men's Basketball team partnered with Special Olympics Virginia to welcome middle school students for a morning of basketball skill development at the Fairfax Campus on October 26th. The students in attendance represented the Unified Basketball Team at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington. Unified Sports® teams include players with and without intellectual disabilities and are inspired by a simple principle of shared experience: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding.
The training session began with a dynamic warm-up, led by longtime Mason strength and conditioning guru Handy Handerahan. Then, the Kenmore and Mason student-athletes broke into smaller groups to work on passing, ball handling, and a number of other basketball skills.
"The George Mason players were so personable and made sure everyone was included," Jennings said. "They recognized each student's gifts. And that's what we want people to learn about individuals with intellectual disabilities. They have gifts too and they can play the sport just like anyone else."