Scott Urbach

As Interviewed by Audrey Urbach, March 14, 2017

Scott Urbach: In His Own Words

Itís twofold. One I absolutely love it. It keeps me connected toÖ to people, to basketball, it makes me feel like Iím contributing to the community, which is a nice thing. But I think much more importantly than all of that and this is not an exaggeration, in many respects, I would say that a lot of the athletes that I work with, and to some extent their families as well, it's like a second family for me.

I wouldnít say that the relationships have tons and tons of depth to them, but in a way thatís really refreshing. This might sound cheesy, but it shouldnít be seen that way. Itís pure love. I mean if when I go into coaching on Friday at basketball, I walk into the room and I get thirty people screaming at me ďCoach Scott!Ē and theyíre so excited to see me, and, you know, and Iím excited to see them. So thatísÖ thatís what I mean. Itís a different vibe. You donít get that anywhere else in life, quite frankly.
Itís, itís just basketball. Same, same as for anybody else.

I remember my first year of Special Olympics we lost a game, in the low division, 46 to 2, and I donít feel like things like that should happen in Special Olympics. And I think to some extent thatís inappropriate because it teaches the wrong values.

You need to have real interactions with people with disabilities to learn to appreciate them as, as individuals. ĎCause all of the coaches and all of the people that are involved with the program from what I see are heavily involved with the people so, you know, to me, the biggest lesson that Iíve learned, and as I said at the outside of this I had never worked with people with special needs in my life until I did the volunteer job starting fifteen years ago, and, you know, the biggest lesson Iíve learned is just theyíre people like anybody else. And, you know, I didnít learn that from having a superficial relationship to them, I learned that by getting to know them.

I think people take them for- take it for granted that theyíre not regular people and therefore they tend to superficially interact with them. So they might treat them like, just like people you canít have a regular conversation with, and thatís a big mistake.