Best Buddies basketball


Sarah Bomhoff

LHS Unified Team excited after winning their game and moving on to the State tournament.

Vanessa Timat, Feature Editor

This year, the LHS ‘Best Buddies’ club created a basketball team for the students in the program. It consists of special education students and general education students and they team up to play against other schools. The team has already had their first tournament and it went really well. 

Best Buddies adviser Kendra Junso arranged the team and was very excited to be a part of the program this year.

“We started a special needs basketball team called the ‘Unified Team’ and that means that there’s special needs kids and general ed[ucation] kids and they are on a basketball team together,” said Junso.

Junso believes that the Special Olympics team is a great way to get involved with more than just schooling and it creates a lasting impact on all students.

“We started it to give our special education students another opportunity,” said Junso. “It is really good for them to be able to be a part of something outside of the classroom and to look forward to.”

The team practices throughout the week during WIN time and sets up the team during that time. This past weekend, they attended the Southeast Corner tournament in Yankton, SD to see if they would qualify for the State tournament. This was an important event because the school has not participated in it for many years.

“We play in the state tournament [Mar.] 25 and 26 at the Pentagon,” said Junso. “The last team that they had was 2018.”

When Junso started the team, she was pleasantly surprised by all the people that volunteered. In fact, she had to turn people down because there were too many kids that wanted to get involved.

“I would love to have two teams but there is not enough of me to be able to have two teams,” said Junso. “I hope we can continue this one for next year, we have jerseys that we put stamps on and everything so I do not want those to go to waste.”

While this season is almost over, Junso wants to keep the team going for the next couple of years. She hopes that one day, the whole school will get involved and cheer for the team.

“I hope we can continue pushing it forward and get it more involved at Lincoln. I would love to see them play at half time at girls or boys basketball games, or I would love to have a game here against Jefferson or Roosevelt,” said Junso. “It is obviously not a sanctioned sport here, but it would be really cool to get it to be an event where students and their parents and everybody shows up to support the Special Olympics teams.”