Special Olympics Unified basketball game held at Grant HS to pro - KPTV - FOX 12

Special Olympics Unified basketball game held at Grant HS to promote inclusion

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(KPTV/Bonnie Silkman) (KPTV/Bonnie Silkman)

Young students with and without special needs united in Portland Wednesday night for a competitive basketball game at Grant High School all to empower special athletes.

It's the second year for the Special Olympics Unified Sports program at Grant High School.

There was a lot of enthusiasm from the team and the crowd as many students are finally getting their shot in the spotlight.

"I'm playing really good. I've made on shot so two points," said Brandon Richey, teammate and student at Grant High School. "It makes my blood go, it makes me want to show more and have more energy."

"It's giving them the same opportunity that everyone else has. They're high schoolers. They walk down the same halls, they do the same things, they deserve everything that a gen-ed student does as well," said Heather Hunt, a high school senior and organizer of the event.

The goal of the Special Olympics Unified program is to awaken every community about the importance of inclusion. It's a global goal, that all starts at a local level.

"Suddenly the disabilities aren't present - they're present but they don't see them anymore," said Hunt.

Hunt says event like this are her passion.

"That's what I want to do with my life - bridging that gap between students with disabilities and those without is something I’m passionate about. At a young age I saw the way they were treated differently and that did not sit well with me," Hunt told FOX 12.

Since 1968, Special Olympics has been spreading the message that people with disabilities can and will succeed when given the opportunity, and it all happens through the simple power of sport.

During the event at Grant High School, the crowd had one minute to grab their wallets and donate. A total of $450 was collected.

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