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Students with special needs get the opportunity of a lifetime

Local News

Middle schoolers at Pittsford Central Schools of all skill levels hit the court today in a game they will remember. The game was held at the Pittsford high school gym, hosting Calkins Road Middle School versus Barker Road Middle School.

“I felt like out of all the years, I really put myself into this one,” said Ricky Ruiz, who normally wouldn’t be able to play in modified basketball.

For one game a year, Pittsford’s Unified Basketball League brings together students with special needs with some of their peers. Coaches could not be happier with the result. “We’re able to get students with those disabilities as well as general education students together,” said Kevin Cutaia.

Kids with special needs are matched with junior varsity players, like Hayley Giordano. She has played in this game for three years. “This is definitely more fun,” said Giordano. “I made a lot of new friendships through practices and through school.”

Her mom could not be more proud “It’s a really awesome opportunity to meet other kids and to just come together no matter what your ability and to be able to participate,” said Jessica Burdick-Giordano. “There’s way more cheering here, and there’s far more kids that come out for this game.”

Over the past two years this game had been held in the middle school, last year it was standing room only, and this year they moved to the high school.

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