LANCASTER, N.Y. – Lancaster High School’s varsity unified basketball team showcased their talents in Wednesday’s home opener against the Clarence Red Devils.
Head Coach for the Legends, Jayson Jaskier, explains what unified sports are and what makes them unique.
“The unique thing about unified basketball is that it is a recognized varsity sport and you have three students on the court, minimum three students with an intellectual disability, paired with two students without. So, it’s really a coming together and a bonding of all the students there.”
Jaskier has 21 students on his team and of the 21, 13 of them have an intellectual disability. The head coach for the Legends says that the most important thing that all students on the team have is care for each other.
“The most important thing I will say is that that level of care for each other, to care about each other, to get them to work together, to improve. The goal of the day is just to get better, not only as an athlete, but as a person.”
2 of the Legends varsity players, 11th grade student Raelynn Snyder and 12th grade student Garrett Jezewicz, have never played on any other sports team before but share how their experience has been so far.
“I was a little nervous at first, but now I feel like I can do it and ya know, that I am finally part of a team that I love,” said Jerewicz.
Snyder says being a part of the team has helped her be more active and tells us how excited she is about the season.
“This team has been amazing, we’ve been coming so far with this team. I’m excited to work with all the wonderful kids from my class and teammates.”
Coach Jaskier thanks everyone, not only in the Lancaster school district, but everyone in Western New York for making unified basketball a success.
“The benefit we’ve seen just over the past couple of weeks, we know is going to extend and stick with these kids for the rest of their life.”