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Henry Viscardi Basketball Team Honored

Senator Jack M. Martins visited the Henry Viscardi School for the Disabled in Albertson recently for a special assembly during which he congratulated the basketball team on a well-earned win this summer against the Nassau County champion Elmont Spartans.

Prior to the assembly, Senator Martins met with the Henry Viscardi School Board to discuss funding. During last year’s budget session, the executive’s budget proposal called for cuts to 4,201 schools. Senator Martins, along with his colleagues in the Senate, fought to restore those cuts. Senator Martins told the board that he expects to have the same fight this next budget year.

Following the discussion, the senator made his way down to the gym, where he congratulated the basketball team. This past summer, Senator Martins put together a special game as part of his 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament in Elmont. He arranged for the team from Elmont Memorial High School, which just happened to be the Nassau County championship team this year, to play the Henry Viscardi School basketball team. In order to level the playing field, both teams played in wheelchairs.

Despite playing the Nassau County champions, the Henry Viscardi team showed why they are a force to be reckoned with. They took it to the Elmont Spartans, winning the game 72-54 by showing their determination, resiliency and the heart of a champion.

As a token to remember this historic summer event, Senator Martins presented the team with a Senate proclamation, which he gave to coach Joe Slaninca, as well as a collage of photos from the game. Both went in the showcase in the school that displays the trophies the basketball team has won.

Also, as part of the special assembly, the school wished Abilities! President and CEO John Kemp a happy birthday. Abilities! is the program that is used for the Henry Viscardi School. It is dedicated to providing people with disabilities the same opportunities as all other people.

The students gave Mr. Kemp birthday cards that they had made after everyone sang, “Happy Birthday.”