Beaver County’s Izzy Scialabba shines in NBA Cares All-Star Game

Yesterday, Special Olympics Pennsylvania athlete Israel Scialabba earned the opportunity of a lifetime — to play in the Special Olympics + NBA Cares Unified All-Star Game in Chicago with players and legends from the WNBA and NBA. And… HE. BALLED. OUT.

In a thrilling 44-43 victory for the East All-Stars at the United Center, Izzy made significant contributions to the winning effort.

His final stats: 8 PTS (4-6, 0-1), 5 REB, 2 AST, 2 STL, 3 TO

For the majority of his minutes, Izzy ran the point and displayed an array of skills, including fantastic handles and breakaway speed. It was an honor to watch him — and all the other Special Olympics athletes and WNBA/NBA players — compete on the biggest stage!

For more from the unforgettable day:

Event photos (from Ben Solomon):
Video profile of Izzy:
Full replay of the game:

While watching the video replay of the game, here are some timestamps to check out where Izzy makes some awesome plays!

11:09: Izzy’s intro
17:30: Tip-off
21:15: Izzy checks into the game
21:30: Cheyenne Parker layup from Izzy
23:06: Izzy layup from Cheyenne Parker
25:00: Wyatt Spalding 16-footer from Izzy
25:38: Izzy rebound and putback
32:50: Izzy check back in
33:08: Good defense
33:57: Rebound in traffic
34:55: Izzy fastbreak scoop shot
37:12: Izzy awesome steal & layup
38:35: Halftime
53:30: Izzy checks back in
55:24: Sick handles
1:04: Izzy checks back in
1:09: Final 48 seconds
1:10:22: Chris Carter steal & game-winner
1:14:15: Medal ceremony
1:15:07: Izzy gets his medal

Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Bryan Fagan

#50for50: Volume 12
▪️ Bryan Fagan
▪️ Unified Track & Field Coach
▪️ Souderton Area High School

“I am a Unified Track coach here at Souderton. I grew up in Doylestown and I’ve been teaching here for seven years. I teach Family & Consumer Sciences and I started working in restaurants when I was 12, bussing tables, dish washing and I worked in restaurants until I started teaching. … We tried to make sure we were setting up a program that was as similar to our varsity programs as it possibly could be. Doing things like having an apparel store or having the mentality of, ‘we’re practicing and pushing ourselves just like the varsity track and football team does.’ When it was raining and the varsity track team was outside practicing, we were outside practicing. … It was one of those things with teaching FCS, I have all our Special Ed kids coming through. So for me, my classes have always been unified. Helping that valedictorian understand that, ‘You’re going to be working with people with different ability levels. Not everybody’s text-book-smart like you are. If you become a business owner, how are you going to set people up for success as well as set your company up for success?’ … The Unified Track program has grown from the very first year with 14 kids on the team to last year, we had 20 managers, we had 42 kids that wanted to compete in track. We maxed out our 35-student roster and had kids running JV right with them. … For us, it’s really just a culture thing. It’s all about that ripple effect. It’s about having students come back in five years to say, ‘I’m doing this because I ran Unified Track or played Bocce.’ … The summer after my first year coaching, I got an email from one of our athletes’ parents with a picture of the athlete and two of our partner athletes from track. These two partner athletes had emailed her asking if they could take the athlete out to lunch. Being able to see that what we’re doing here was making its way out to social lives outside the building — especially since those partner athletes had already graduated — was probably one of the greatest moments I’ve had.”

Izzy Scialabba plays in NBA Cares Unified All-Star Basketball Game

On February 14, Beaver County’s own Israel Scialabba earned the right to participate in the Special Olympics NBA Cares Unified All-Star Game in Chicago as part of the NBA‘s All-Star Weekend festivities!

Izzy took the court at Chicago’s United Center with 11 other Special Olympics athletes and 9 players and legends from the NBA and WNBA for the 9️⃣th annual edition of the game!

We’re ecstatic that Izzy participated in this game with so many incredible athletes during the NBA’s All-Star Weekend!

To watch a replay of the full game, see below!

Izzy was joined in Chicago by his Special Olympics teammates:

🔹 Sean Annan (Special Olympics Canada)
🔹 Jasmine Burnham (Special Olympics Florida)
🔹 Christopher Carter (Special Olympics Virginia)
🔹 Robert Doyle (Special Olympics Nevada)
🔹 Amber Free (Special Olympics Texas)
🔹 Blake Hairston (Special Olympics Virginia)
🔹 Injae Kim (스페셜올림픽코리아 Special Olympics Korea)
🔹 Tamara Medarts (Special Olympics Belgium)
🔹 Carrie Nykiel (Special Olympics Illinois)
🔹 Wyatt Spalding (Special Olympics Nebraska)
🔹 Nate Wade (Special Olympics Colorado)

And these NBA/WNBA Players and Legends:

🔸 A’ja Wilson (Las Vegas Aces, forward)
🔸 Chelsea Gray (Los Angeles Sparks, guard)
🔸 Cheyenne Parker (Chicago Sky, forward)
🔸 Horace Grant (Chicago Bulls Legend)
🔸 Toni Kukoč (Chicago Bulls Legend)
🔸 Dikembe Mutumbo (Hall of Famer & Special
Olympics Global Ambassador)
🔸 Muggsy Bogues (NBA Legend)
🔸 Jameer Nelson (NBA Legend)
🔸 Cappie Pondexter (WNBA Legend)

For more information about the lineups, follow this link!

And to discover a story about Izzy’s emotional journey to this point, watch this video!

Photo Credit: Special Olympics/Ben Solomon

Souderton Unified athletes visit D.C. for Capitol Hill Day

Yesterday, we had the honor of attending #SOHillDay in Washington, D.C. with an exceptional team of Unified athletes from Souderton Area High School.

Unified partners Jon Booz & Kevin Lezynski, as well as Vicki (Jon’s mom), Nancy (Kevin’s mom), Souderton’s Unified coach & PE teacher Bryan Fagan and our Chief Development Officer Tim Kerrihard made the trek to Capitol Hill to speak with various members of congress to advocate on behalf of Special Olympics athletes everywhere!

Throughout the day, they met with Rep. Madeleine DeanCongressman Brian FitzpatrickCongresswoman Susan WildGlenn ThompsonU.S. Senator Bob CaseyRep. Scott Perry, and Congressman John Joyce — with a special visit from Tim Shriver and John C. McGinley — telling them about their own experiences of inclusion at Souderton, as well as the importance of Unified Sports programs in communities everywhere.

We couldn’t be more proud of the important work they did in our Nation’s Capital and we were honored to have them represent Special Olympics Pennsylvania!

For all photos from this incredible event, follow this link.

Special Olympics Pennsylvania #50for50: Seth Jarrett

#50for50: Volume 11
▪️ Seth Jarrett
▪️ 37 years old
▪️ Union County

“I was in Global Messenger training in State College. I get to give all different speeches. I like one time I was at Kutztown University and gave my first speech. I made my mom cry. So I wanted to keep doing it. [After people hear me speak] they clap and they cheer me on. … I live independently, by myself in my own house. It feels good. And I work at Bucknell University. I work in Dining Services. I’ve been there for 19 years. I like working there. I work in the mornings, get in at 7:30 a.m., come home around 2:30 p.m. and I do what my supervisor tells me to do. I do everything they tell me. Pots and pans, trash and other stuff. … I bowled a 179 today [at the Eastern Bowling Sectional]. That was my best score ever. I bowled my heart out. I do bocce in the fall and I love all kinds of sports. … I’ve been in Special Olympics almost 27 years. I started swimming when I was 10. It helped me in all different ways. [My favorite event is] 200m breast stroke. We practice every Sunday afternoon. I have all different friends. My advice is change what you do in sports and enjoy it. It’s important you enjoy it.”