On March 18, the Moorestown Quakers faced off against the Union City Soaring Eagles in the first ever NJSIAA Unified Basketball Championship at the CURE Insurance Arena.

For the past 28 years, NJSIAA has hosted an annual Tournament of Champions for high school basketball, and a recent joint partnership between NJSIAA and Special Olympics New Jersey has allowed athletes with and without disabilities to compete together in interscholastic Unified competition.

The Moorestown Unified team edged out a 25-21 win over Union City on Sunday – making them the first Unified State Basketball Champions.

“[The game] was a lot of fun,” said Thomas Grable, Moorestown sophomore. “I made the buzzer-beater. It means a lot to me. I’ve made good friends. I love playing with my friends, helping them out.”

The Moorestown Unified team will also be representing Team New Jersey in the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games this July in Seattle.

“My brother is autistic so I’ve been around the Special Olympics community my entire life,” said Unified partner and Moorestown senior Grace Riccioti-Molishus. “Being a part of the Unified basketball team is the most incredible experience I’ve had in my life.”

Congrats to both teams for being a part of this historic event and showing what the phrase “Play Unified. Live Unified.” truly means.

Photos from the event

Interested in getting involved with Unified Sports? Learn more about Unified Sports!

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