By Sean Minnihan
“Team sports bring people together.”
That line best sums up Unified Sports in Special Olympics, and Special Olympics athlete Satanna Chapman and Unified partner Danielle Morgan are a perfect example. They’re helping to break down barriers and promote inclusion in sports as part of the Lompoc High School Unified basketball team that is headed to Seattle for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in July.
When asked what she is most proud of, Satanna replied, “That I get to play basketball.” Satanna also enjoys practicing and playing on the Unified volleyball team.
When tasked with describing each other in one word, Danielle had a hard time choosing how to sum up Satanna. “There’s a lot. Probably enthusiastic; when she comes to practice, she’s always ready to practice. It looks like she’s always having fun.”
For Danielle, playing on the team means she gets to bring her love for the game to Unified Sports.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Danielle said. “Everyone brings their own special qualities to the team which is what I really enjoy about it. We’re all different and it’s really great to see all these kids coming together to play on one team.”
Satanna and Danielle certainly have a few differences. Satanna’s favorite food is pizza while Danielle’s is tacos. Satanna’s favorite subject in school is math, whereas Danielle is looking forward to a pre-law career at Gonzaga next fall. And they both laughed and joked about how Danielle routinely gets up at 6 a.m. every morning, while Satanna is certainly a night-owl.
But with Unified Sports, Satanna and Danielle meet on the court as equal players who share the same goal of bringing home the gold medal.