For the Media

Search Archive


Contact Us

Main & Health Science Campus
University Hall

Room: 2110
Mail Stop 949
Phone: 419.530.2002
Fax: 419.530.4618

UToledo Students to Compete on Unified Team With Special Olympics Athletes in National Tournament

Four students at The University of Toledo are heading to Maryland this week to compete in a national basketball tournament.

They’re playing on a team alongside Special Olympics athletes from Lucas and Wood counties in the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association tournament April 14-16 at the University of Maryland.

The Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Unified Intramural League plays at the UToledo Student Recreation Center. The league is inspired by a simple principle: training, playing and competing together is a quick path to friendship, understanding and meaningful inclusion. The league welcomes student partners and Special Olympics athletes at any level of skill or experience.

The team going to the national tournament features five Lucas County Special Olympics athletes, one Wood County Special Olympics athlete and UToledo students Ray Shaver, Greg Seditz, Eric Briggs and Cole Tessena.

Media are invited to meet the athletes Wednesday, April 12, at the Student Recreation Center on Main Campus. All teams in the league play from 6 to 7 p.m. The team going to the tournament has its final practice together before the tournament from 7 to 8 p.m.

Seditz, a senior studying finance at UToledo, joined the Unified Sports League in 2019 as a freshman.

“It is a distinct honor to head to the nationals with this team,” Seditz said. “I enjoy playing with all the amazing Special Olympics athletes and getting to know them and having the opportunity to leave an impact on them. These games give me great joy, and it is even more rewarding when I can win with the athletes to give them an experience they will never forget. I am a very competitive person, and being able to compete with these athletes is something I’ll never forget.”

“I like competing in the sport of basketball and doing community service,” said Shaver, a 5th-year student studying mechanical engineering. “I think it’s a great opportunity to travel and represent the team in our goal of winning.”

Thomas Laube, a Lucas County Special Olympics athlete, said the unified basketball program offers an equal opportunity to compete and play at a higher level.

“It helps build confidence on and off the court,” Laube said. “I am excited to go to Maryland. I have never been there. Playing on college courts is something very few people get to do, so it is a great honor to be part of this tournament.”

Special Olympics college programs connect college students and individuals with intellectual or other developmental disabilities through shared experiences. Together, college students and Special Olympics athletes can work together to build accepting campus communities and friendships that help lead the social inclusion movement of Special Olympics.

“The Unified Sports partnership with the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities is important to the UToledo community because it allows us to truly live in our commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, community and well-being,” said Tony North Jr., associate director of recreational services at UToledo. “It allows our campus to connect on a person-first level. When we’re competing in sport, everyone is an athlete where an individual’s abilities are able to be highlighted.”

“We continue to expand unified sports offerings through our Special Olympics program, and, whether it’s our unified softball team last year at state or this unified basketball team going to nationals, we continue to see great successes for these athletes,” said Nabil Shaheen, public information manager with the Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities. “On the field or on the court, these teams help us raise awareness and show off the inclusive community we live in.”

Email this author | All posts by

Comments are closed.