More than 150 students from nine Bay Area high schools gathered in March for the 2nd Annual Golden State Warriors Unified Basketball Clinic at Freedom High School.
The Warriors partnered with Special Olympics Northern California (SONC) to host the clinic, which brought together students in special and general education to train and compete as teammates. Schools included Heritage High School, Liberty High School, Deer Valley High School, Pittsburg High School, Acalanes High School, El Cerrito High School, Dublin High School, Montgomery High School and Freedom.
“As an organization, this is something that the Warriors are excited to be behind,” said Jeff Addiego, senior director of Youth Basketball for the Warriors. “To see the interaction between general-ed students and life-skills students on the court, and seeing how that carries over down the hallways, at lunchtime; it’s building a positive community at each and every school.”
The clinic featured members of the Warriors Youth Basketball Camps leading a variety of drills that focused on dribbling, agility, shooting, passing and more. Students of all abilities were able to participate together and share in a fun atmosphere that encouraged friendship, inclusion and mutual respect.
“They get to learn teamwork, they get to have fun and they get to develop bonds and friendships that lasts long after the season is over,” said Dr. Steve Amaro, athletic director at Freedom.
Other highlights of the clinic included a Warriors jersey for each participant; a visit from Warriors legend Adonal Foyle; and an opportunity for students to take photos with the Warriors two most recent NBA championship trophies.
“The Golden State Warriors have been incredible partners with our community and all communities in Northern California, specifically in promoting inclusive programs,” said Amaro.
“Special Olympics is extremely grateful to the Warriors for all of their support of Unified Sports and Unified Basketball,” added Cyrus Nassersaeid, Unified Sports manager for SONC.
Students from two participating schools also had the opportunity to play a Unified Basketball game during halftime of the Warriors vs. Kings game at Oracle Arena.