Tuesday was jersey day at practice for the high school unified basketball team and head coach Ryan Kent was giving out uniforms with a touch of auctioneer flair.

“Double zero going once, twice,” Coach Kent said. “Will it be 14, 31, 22 or 35 my friend?”

This is the third year for unified athletics at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, which brings Vineyard students with and without disabilities together for a true team experience.

“The whole idea behind unified is to promote inclusion and provide an opportunity for kids with disabilities to participate in team sports and be included with their same-age peers in ways that they wouldn’t normally get a chance to,” Coach Kent said.

Inclusive sports league has the same rules and standards when its game time. — Mark Alan Lovewell

“We have a game with all the same rules, all the same standards, everything is just about all the same when it’s game time,” he added.

Vitoria Da Trindade, a junior, joined the team to help translate for one of her teammates. Vitoria admitted she did not totally know what she was getting into.

“They told me to come here today and I didn’t know it was a team but now I’m on the team,” she said with a laugh.

After a circuit of shooting, dribbling and one-on-one drills, Vitoria felt right at home.

“I love helping people,” she said. “It’s what I want to do after high school and I love basketball...this was awesome.”

For freshman Georgia Magden, not even a broken collarbone could keep her from helping out on and off the court this year. After a successful winter basketball campaign, Georgia said she’s looking forward to more hoops with old and new friends.

“They’re all super great kids, so just talking to everyone and making new friends will be so fun,” she said.

Teamwork leads the way as unified basketball team begins its third year. — Mark Alan Lovewell

As far as what to do about the broken collarbone, Georgia has a plan while it heals.

“I just want to be able to help out and if there’s something I can’t do I just sit out or use one hand.”

During normal times the team would play home and away games against Bourne, Falmouth and Plymouth North and South. However, this year the team will play only intramural games after coaches from league schools agreed the exposure risk associated with traveling was too great.

“I look forward to traveling again when it’s possible, it’s always such a blast,” Coach Kent said. “When we get together with other teams it’s like nothing else. It really is a special time for everyone involved.”

Kevin McGrath agreed. Mr McGrath is the high school’s librarian, assistant coach for the team and father of one of the student-athletes. He said his son Conner loves the team’s trips across the Sound.

“It’s like an awesome field trip for the team,” he said. “I think the experience of traveling with your friends builds team spirit and camaraderie. Everyone is having fun and the teams are really supportive of each other too. It’s just a really feel-good thing.”

Practices are Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.

More pictures.