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Lack of support for RV's Unified Basketball team needs to be changed

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The Ralston Valley and Bear Creek Unified Basketball Teams get together at halftime to show support for one another and to celebrate the game.

The Ralston Valley and Bear Creek Unified Basketball Teams get together at halftime to show support for one another and to celebrate the game.

photo by Sage Heffley

photo by Sage Heffley

The Ralston Valley and Bear Creek Unified Basketball Teams get together at halftime to show support for one another and to celebrate the game.

Sage Heffley, Staff Writer

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The winter prep sports scene throughout the state is dominated by basketball.

This is no different at Ralston Valley where the girl’s team stands 17-1 and is ranked third in the state. The boy’s team has reeled off four straight wins to improve its record to 11-8.

However, there is another basketball team at RV that isn’t getting the attention it deserves. And that is our Unified Basketball team, a group of students from our challenge program that plays games against similar teams from around the region.

Recently, the Review conducted a poll asking readers if they would you rather watch the Unified team, the boy’s team or the girl’s squad.

Forty-four percent of respondents preferred watching the boy’s squad, followed by 34 percent for the girls and just 22 percent for the unified team.

This year, in general, it has felt like support at any kind of sporting event has dwindled quite a bit at Ralston Valley compared to year’s past.

Yes, we are all busy with homework and commitments of our own.

However, everyone wants to support those that do good, right? What about players that love having people see them play and love being a part of something bigger?

photo by Sage Heffley
Cheerleaders line the court at Bear Creek prior to the Mustangs Unified basketball game against Bear Creek. Despite playing its best, RV lost the game to Bear Creek.

This is exactly what the Unified basketball team provides.

This year, they have had one game so far at Ralston Valley. At that game, they were stuck in the small gym, with just parents of the players in attendance and no fans to root on those representing the Mustangs.

The kids who play on the team are very enthusiastic and could care less who they have watching them play, as long as they have fun while the play a game the love.

That said, it sure would be nice to show them how much we care about their hard work.

Recently, they played their second game at Bear Creek. This game was exceptionally special for the kids on both teams. They played in the main gym with a very large fan base to support not only Bear Creek but also Ralston Valley.

The band showed up to play music, the national anthem, and much more.

This excitement for the players was exception, because they usually do not garner support like the varsity teams.

We need to explore ideas to make the Unified games at Ralston Valley a more exciting environment for those involved.

After all, it’s about seeing this team and its players have a good time and enjoy being out on the court.

So, how can RV make a Unified game more fun?

Students and staff are always so enthusiastic about showing their support for the special needs team during assemblies, but we need to find a way to garner that same sort of support at games.

I don’t have an answer right now, and I’m hoping someone can help think of one, but I know these students deserve a bigger and better environment.

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