• May 2023  

    On Tuesday May 2, Sayville’s first ever Unified Basketball Team held their inaugural game against Bellport in the high school gym. 

    According to the Special Olympics, Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual abilities on the same team. The sport was brought to the district by Athletic Director Dr. Ryan Cox. Cox initiated the Unified Basketball program at his previous school and witnessed the tremendous impact of the sport and wanted to bring this inclusive initiative to Sayville. 

    The team is coached by teachers Ashley Monastero, Caitlin Morrell, and Kaitlyn Walsh. 

    The coaches said that students were very excited for the opportunity to play on the team.

    “Many students love sports, but have not had the opportunity to play in an inclusive and competitive environment,” they said. “We began by gathering students who expressed an interest in Unified Sports and a Youth Activation Committee and basketball team were formed!”

    There are twenty students on Sayville’s team and one student who is the team manager. 

    At Tuesday’s game students from both teams were excited to get on the court and play for a crowd of excited fans. 

    “It has been amazing to see the impact that this team has had on some of our students," the coaches noted. “We have noticed students saying hello in the halls to more of their peers and an overall excitement for the end of the day practice or game. We are also proud of the individuals on our team who have taken an active leadership role and foster a true inclusive environment.”

    The Unified Basketball Team’s next home game will be on Thursday, May 11 at 4 p.m. against Connetquot. The game will take place in the high school gymnasium.