Monday, 05 February 2018 23:05

Orono Unified treated with visit from Maine men's hoops

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ORONO - Unified has become a staple in Maine for the opportunities it provides to special needs athletes. But these basketball stars got an additional opportunity to meet the stars they watch at the Cross Insurance Center up close and in person Monday afternoon.

Maine men's basketball made its way to Orono High School to hold a clinic for the Orono Unified program. While it may seem like standard community service on the surface, head coach Bob Walsh said his players genuinely enjoy the chance to get involved with kids who appreciate every minute of their time.

 

"They love being a part of this community," Walsh said of his team. "They love the excitement surrounding basketball in this community. So it's great to be a part of."

 

The Black Bears held drills for an hour with the Orono players, giving them lessons on ball-handling, shot selection and team-building. And for those in attendance, it was something they couldn't pass up.

 

"This is an opportunity for kids who can't play normal basketball," Orono Unified guard Isaiah Walker said. "And it makes them feel good about themselves and stuff like that." Walker also said his friends on varsity were even jealous of the chance to play alongside Division I players.

 

"It's just something they really look forward to every year, so it's kind of become a tradition," Orono Unified coach Jennifer Plourde said. "It's something that they'll always remember."

 

The Black Bears return to action Feb. 8 at New Hampshire.

 

 

Jon Alba

Anchor/Sports Director
[email protected]

Jon Alba joined ABC 7 and FOX 22 in September of 2015 to serve as sports director and anchor. He is a graduate of Quinnipiac University, where he served as general manager of the school's television station Q30 Television for two years.

During his tenure, Q30 was named "College Television Station of the Year" by the College Media Association in 2014, and picked up additional national award recognition as well. Jon has been acknowledged by the Society of Professional Journalists for his commitment to sports journalism, including his investigative work while covering Quinnipiac Athletics.

Prior to moving to Maine, Jon was a lifelong resident of New Jersey. There, he formed a passion for covering sports, knowing since age 5 he wanted to tell stories for a living.

In the past, Jon has worked at MLB Network, alongside MLB Advanced Media. Additionally, his work has been featured on AOL Sports. He can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter @JonAlba.