Project UNIFY athletes hoop it up

Danielle from Ironwood High School dribbles up the court during the annual UNIFY sports event on Jan. 31 in Glendale. [Jacob Stanek/Independent Newsmedia]

Annual game showcases the best in sportsmanship

Project UNIFY hosted its annual Unified Sports basketball game between Ironwood and Liberty high schools at Ironwood High School, 6051 W. Sweetwater Ave., in Glendale.

Ironwood High’s Charlie, right, has some fun during the game on Jan. 31 in Glendale. [Jacob Stanek/Independent Newsmedia]
Throughout the game, Special Olympics athletes and their partners showcased what Unified Sports and Project UNIFY is all about by playing together, cheering each other on and demonstrating support in a fun, safe environment. The school’s choir, cheerleaders, student council, band and athletic teams all participated to support the students.

In the end, Ironwood outlasted Liberty in a 62-58 victory.

Project UNIFY is an education-based program that uses sports and education initiatives of Special Olympics to foster respect, dignity and advocacy for people with intellectual disabilities in school.

Liberty High School is located at 9621 W. Speckled Gecko Drive, in Peoria.

Both participating schools are members of the Peoria Unified School District, located in the West Valley, which serves more than 37,000 students in 34 elementary schools, seven high schools and one non-traditional high school. The district boasts a 94 percent high school graduation rate.

Liberty High School’s Nicholas, left, celebrates with a teammate after scoring a point during Peoria Unified’s annual UNIFY basketball game on Jan. 31 at Ironwood High School in Glendale. [Jacob Stanek/Independent Newsmedia]
For more information on the Special Olympics or to volunteer or donate, visit

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