Lochburn Unified Basketball Team wins gold at state competition

The Lochburn Middle School Unified Basketball team won gold at the Special Olympics Winter Games March 4-6 in Wenatchee. This is Lochburn’s first year running Unified Sports.

“Providing Unified Sports to our special education students is important to our Lochburn school community,” said Lochburn counselor and Unified Sports coach Marty Harris. “We are so proud of our athletes for their hard work but also for their dedication and sportsmanship!”

Their sportsmanship was very evident during the event. James Frame, coach of the Federal Way Stars Unified Jr. basketball team, sent an email to Lochburn principal Josh Zarling after the event explaining the sportsmanship exhibited by the Lochburn team. The Federal Way team consists mostly of elementary students and played against the bigger Lochburn middle schoolers. The partner players who work with the special education athletes during the game made sure nearly every shot was made by the special education athletes resulting in a very competitive game. 

“My players, and the special education players from Lochburn, were able to compete at their highest level on a big stage and it was due to the outstanding demonstration of sportsmanship and understanding exhibited by the partner players from Lochburn and the amazing coach that brought them together,” said Frame. 

Special Olympics Unified Sports is an inclusive sports program that combines an approximately equal number of special education students called “athletes” and additional students called “partners” who support the game and assist athletes.

basketball team

The Lochburn Middle School Unified Basketball team won gold at the Special Olympics Winter Games March 4-6 in Wenatchee. Photo credit: Jamie Moffett