On December 13, Westminster High School (WHS) hosted the inaugural Holiday Hoops Unified Sports Basketball Tournament. This inclusive, district-wide competition brought together adapted/modified physical education athletes and general education athletes or “partners,” to train and compete together on the same teams.

Three HBUHSD schools participated — Edison High School (EHS), FVHS – Fountain Valley High School, and Westminster High School (WHS). These three schools made up eight different teams split up in two different divisions — Pro and Collegiate. The team names were Ross’ Rebels (EHS), Lion Mambo (WHS), SAC Town (EHS), Baron Ballers (FVHS), Pouncing Pride (WHS), Den Defenders (WHS), Baron Bombers (FVHS), and Roaring Red (WHS).

After a morning full of hard-fought competition, the Fountain Valley High School teams claimed both the Pro and Collegiate Championship titles! The Baron Ballers and Baron Bombers (pictured below) were all awarded medals and the other participating teams were presented ribbons.

When asked about the success of the inaugural tournament, Doug Siembieda, Director of Special Education, stated, “We are hoping that this will just be the first step toward other Unified Sports tournaments, and eventually expand to invite schools outside of HBUHSD to participate.”

The tournament was made possible by physical education teacher Sue Williams, Westminster High School cheerleaders, girls varsity basketball players and referee’s, ASB, and administrators from throughout the district.

Sponsored by Special Olympics Southern California, the Unified Sports Basketball Tournament aims to promote and create social inclusion between individuals with and without intellectual disabilities through sports. For more information about the Unified Sports program, visit https://www.sosc.org/unifiedsports.