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Volunteer Profile – Luke Fox

How did you get involved with Special Olympics and Unified Sports?

I first got involved in Special Olympics in eighth grade.  I was going to Williston Central School and one of the requirements for graduation was that students complete an “Eighth Grade Challenge Project.”  I was playing basketball for WCS at the time and my coach, Leah, suggested that I help out with Special Olympics basketball for my project; it was a requirement that we complete a certain amount of community hours.  I didn’t really expect that I would love helping out with Special Olympics as much as I did.  Everyone was very welcoming and I immediately felt comfortable.  This past season was my 14th season being involved with the Chittenden basketball team.  It has been great to work with so many of the same people over the years while getting to meet a lot of great new athletes, coaches, and partners.

You have been a coach and a Unified partner. How do these roles differ and which do you prefer?

I really enjoy coaching and participating as a partner but I probably prefer the latter.  I have found that it is a lot easier to coach while on the court.  We don’t spend much time working on set plays so a lot of the on court coaching is encouraging movement and fundamentals.  Also, it is much easier to talk athletes through their frustrations if you are on the court when it happens.  Mostly, it is just fun to run around with the team and sport the purple jersey.

What has being a Unified partner brought to your life?

Being involved with Special Olympics has brought a lot of happiness and positive relationships into my life.  I genuinely look forward to each new season because I get to see a lot of great people.  We have had a lot of dedicated players and coaches who can teach a lot about what is important in life.  Also, I have learned a lot of great – and terrible – pranks and jokes over the years.

Competition recap from the 2016 State Basketball Tournament

Our delegation had a great time this weekend.  The Chargers – the team I was playing on – did really well on Saturday and ended up winning the gold.  It was nice to see because everyone played hard and worked together.  We were very proud of the outcome because we faced some really good teams.  At the end of the day, it is just nice to see the respect that players from other teams have for one another; there never seem to be any hard feelings during the awards ceremony.

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