GROSSE POINTE FARMS, Mich. – You don’t usually see Grosse Pointe South students cheering for Grosse Pointe North Athletes, but Monday was a very special kind of basketball game, the first-ever unified game.
It’s 4 p.m. on Monday afternoon, but the gym inside Grosse Pointe South High School felt like a Friday night at 7 p.m. It was packed and the students were pumped.
It’s the first time North and South played a unified basketball game. Weeks ago, the athletic director of South and the athletic director at North came together and Monday’s game was the result.
For South, there are nine athletes with special needs on the team. Andre Williams is one of them.
Williams’ uncle said this is really special for the 18-year-old.
“It’s so special for him to wear the South jersey,” Orlando Johnson said. “I know he feels very proud to wear it.”
The partner athletes gave of their time and helped teach the game. Sophomore Kamryn Richards plays on the girls varsity team and she said she would like to work with special needs children when she grows up.
“I thought this would be a really good thing to combine something I want to do when I get older with something I like to love playing,” Richards said.
In the stands were the South Hockey team and the Football team, and all students who wanted to show their support.
“It’s not about the score, it’s just about team support and supporting both schools and our peers,” Anabella Joseph said.
There were baskets and plenty of near misses, but the score didn’t matter so much today as how this game made everyone feel.
“What would you say to the people who put this together?”
“Thank you,” said North Unified Athlete Josh Prince.