By Riley Jenson
Special to the Observer
Ten unified basketball players from Champlain Valley Union High School will represent Vermont in the USA Special Olympic Summer Games at Husky Stadium in Seattle next month.
The nationwide competition is held every four years and includes 14 individual and team sporting events ranging from swimming and paddleboarding to soccer and basketball. Vermont’s unified basketball team is comprised of an even mix of students with disabilities and partner students. Team members include: Paul Keen of Shelburne, Robert Ellis-Clark of St. George, Graham Walker of Hinesburg and Wayne Elias, Hayley Clos, Kevin Conger, Shannon Loiseau, Gary Whalon, Erin Watson and Lindsey Albertelli of Williston.
Coaches Peter Booth and Anthony Spagnolo of CVU will travel with the team to Seattle. The Games run July 1-6.
The team has been practicing every Tuesday and Thursday in the CVU gym to prepare for the competition. Team Vermont students and coaches from other schools are participating in a variety of sports.
The CVU unified basketball team recently wrapped up its third season. The team won a state championship in 2016.
The team is planning two fundraising events this weekend to help with the cost of the trip. A game show hosted by team members called “Chain Reaction” will take place at CVU on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. On Sunday, from 1-4 p.m. the team will hold a 50-50 raffle and bake sale at the Kismet Place Farmers’ Market in Williston.
Riley Jenson is a Champlain Valley Union High School graduate, a student at Endicott College and a Williston Observer intern.