Unified basketball team receives mayoral recognition

The Special Olympics unified basketball team was commended by the Mayor of Aurora on Monday. Mayor Irvin met with the team for a ceremony during the school day and congratulated them on their achievement of placing 2nd at the IHSA Unified State Basketball Tournament for two consecutive seasons.

Mayor Irvin and Dr. Echols both spoke and acknowledged the team’s outstanding accomplishments. Each coach and team member was presented with a medal and a certificate of recognition from the City of Aurora. Following, head coach Travis Saville expressed his pride in the team and gave words of encouragement for outgoing seniors as well members who will return next year.

Regarding this event, “It kind of came out of nowhere, but it’s very cool to have this happen,” senior athlete Thomas Kuhn said.

Especially for seniors, the past two seasons and this recognition have proven to be memorable. Senior and unified partner Elena Burgoon noted that “As a senior, this means a lot because I’ve played with this team for two years in a row, and I’ve seen how much we’ve grown.”

With over half the team being comprised of seniors, it will be a challenge to rebuild next year. However, the team is optimistic about the potential of the program in the future and the abilities of new and returning athletes.

The Metea community is very proud to have such a program that values teamwork, inclusion, and kindness towards one another. In the future, the team hopes to continue to build on their success in competition, as well as their reputation for positivity.

“All the hard work we put in really paid off, and it’s great to receive this honor,” Burgoon added.