Sophomore Sam Lary leads push to get Special Olympics Unified Sports teams established at Oregon City High School.

REVIEW/NEWS PHOTO: JIM BESEDA - Sophomore Sam Lary helped lead push to get a Unified Sports basketball program up and running at Oregon City High School.Oregon City High School sophomore Sam Lary was in third grade when he started playing organized basketball.

Lary also suffers from cerebral palsy -- a neurological disorder caused by a non-progressive brain injury or malformation that occurs while the child's brain is under development.

He tried out for the high school basketball team as a freshman, but was denied a roster spot.

That was when Lary started the push to form a new high school basketball program associated with Special Olympics Unified Sports -- a program that combines approximately equal numbers of Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities -- known as unified partners -- on sports teams for training and competition.

With help from his mother, Josie Rankin Lary, and an assist from Steve Allen, the Oregon City School District's adaptive physical education coordinator, he got the program up and running this winter.

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