Rockets Get Unified!

Unified Basketball to Debut in April


On April 4th, RMHS will launch the first Unified Basketball team that will promote inclusivity and positive connections between peers. 

As outlined by the Special Olympics, the mission of Unified Sports teams is to join equal numbers of athletes with and without intellectual disabilities on one team for practice and competition. All RMHS students are qualified and encouraged to join the team. In an interview with Coolidge Special Education teacher, Tara Herlihy, she said, “We would really love Unified Basketball to be a fun and enriching experience for as many students as possible.” Students who already participate in a spring sport or activity are still welcome to join in when they are available.

We would really love Unified Basketball to be a fun and enriching experience for as many students as possible.

— Mrs. Herlihy

Sign-ups are currently open on the RMHS website. According to Athletic Director Tom Zaya,  “We’re promoting sign-ups the same as any other sport at RMHS, so it’s going to be on family ID, and we’ve sent out emails to parents.” Zoom meetings will begin on March 1st for anyone interested in participating in the RMHS Unified Basketball Team. Students and parents who are thinking of taking part are advised to join the meeting and ask any questions regarding the program. 

Coaching the Rockets will be Mrs. Herlihy. She has been a key organizer and contributor for the Special Olympics within Reading Public Schools for over 20 years. As Mrs. Herlihy longed to get more opportunities for her students, she asked the question, “How we could get Reading involved in Unified Sports to make Special Olympics more than a one day experience?” With the help of Mr. Zaya and high school special education team chair Adam Blaustein, the idea of Unified Basketball has come to fruition.

Athletes will participate in five games against other teams in the Middlesex League starting April 4th. The season will come to an end with a League Jamboree in Wakefield. 

Mrs. Herlihy concludes, “All students, regardless of their abilities, deserve the same things. Unified Basketball will make that a reality this spring.”