TRUST Club’s adapted basketball team plays in Unified basketball tournament


Photo by Maya Disher

Sophomore Mason Mora-Clark dribbles the ball down the court during the Unified basketball game. Mora-Clark is playing his second year of adapted basketball, helping the team to a state title in 2022.

Oren Hamilton and Aidan Primeau

Special Olympics Minnesota hosted its annual adapted basketball tournament on Feb. 3 at the Eagan Community Center, where the TRUST Club‘s adapted basketball team participated for their second year, following their state title win in 2022.

The tournament aimed to provide students with the opportunity to gain new experiences and include special education athletes with general education partners. The event enabled athletes to feel included and learn new skills, such as teamwork and sportsmanship, that could help them not only in basketball but also in life.

“I think we had the best inclusion, we had a lot of our athletes shooting instead of our partners, our partners really had a grasp of what inclusion really means in an athletic setting,” senior Tom Blair said.

Throughout the year, the adapted basketball team practiced for the tournament, meeting once every week on Wednesdays. The varsity basketball team also joined their practices throughout the year to assist the athletes in becoming better. The varsity team has also shown a great interest in engaging in activities with the adapted team, even though the season is over.

“We’ve practiced all year and had the varsity boys basketball team practice with us… The varsity team has a lot of interest in practicing with us again, even though we didn’t participate in the state tournament,” Blair said.

The tournament had a competitive edge, giving athletes the opportunity to experience competitiveness, leadership and inclusion in an athletic setting.

“Let the athletes take the wheel and guide them when needed, they were in control the whole game,” Blair said.

Athletes got the chance to play as a team and score points independently, putting them in the spotlight and embracing the inclusion that the tournament is all about.

Sophomore athlete Mason Mora-Clark said he enjoyed “working as a passionate team and helped score points”.

Although the Ponies adapted basketball team did not finish with a win, the athletes and partners enjoyed playing as a team and working together.

Junior Cooper Mattox said he thinks they did a great job of getting everyone to score and working together during the basketball games.