Wheelchair Basketball

Oh my word, I have just had the best time! My 11 year old daughter, Lauren, just started practicing with a local wheelchair team about a month ago. Today was her first tournament. She had 3 games back to back (boy is she gonna sleep tonight!). It was such an amazing experience, sitting in an auditorium full of parents like me who have kids like Lauren. They understand the medical bills and the struggles and life. Everyone cheered for everyone, no matter what team they were one. The kids were really kind and sweet to one another, while really playing the game- some players get quite aggressive and crazy on the court!  If you have not been to a wheelchair game for kids, find one and go support that team! Lauren is hooked! She can’t wait for the next practice!

For those of you who like financial details- wheelchair basketball isn’t cheap. Our team wants to cover all expenses, since all the families have such medical bills, etc. We survive on donations. Athletic wheelchairs run about $2000. The team needs 3 more chairs in order for every player to have their own chair. The team owns the chairs (unless individuals own their own) and will keep them if a player leaves the team.  We also are in need of a trailer to haul the team chairs back and forth to practice and games. Right now, our manager keeps them in his neighbor’s garage. He doesn’t complain, but a trailer would be so nice!  If you are interested in donating to our team, you can do so here: Wheelchair Basketball Team – even $5 helps! We would love to get to the place where all new families can just jump in and not even have to pay for jerseys or hotels for away games.

Most of the members of Lauren’s team have Spina Bifida. It is an amazing community for her to be a part of. I’m thrilled we decided to take this step. 2013-09-18_12-18-49_888 2013-09-18_12-28-41_624 - Copy2013-09-18_12-29-32_895

7 comments

  • That is so fantastic!! How wonderful there is a group near enough for you to participate!!

    • It is a new team, just formed last August. I love when parents decide to start something themselves rather than wait (like me). Haha! Lauren cannot stop talking about it. She feels like a part of something and loves that it is people like her (her words). And boy can she FLY on that court!

  • I’m sure it is a total thrill!! Who doesn’t love going fast? Hopefully she won’t go too mad with power. ;D

  • Amazing and so fun, both for the participants and the spectators! Thanks for sharing!

  • How fun this must be! Who wouldn’t love to roll down the court at lightning speed?

    As a mother who has had her fair share of accidents in the past few years, I can’t help but ask, are there ever collisions and spills?

    Yikes!

    • Oh my word, yes. I cannot understand why the kids with SB (and shunts) don’t wear helmets!!!! I am probably going to make Lauren wear one when she gets older. The younger kids will sometimes run into each other or get their wheels locked together, but the older kids!!!!! oh my, the older kids flip and fall and have to have coaches lift them (since they are strapped to the chair). Some of the really big guys are so strong that when they fall they do push ups really fast until they push themselves back upright. CRAZY. And scary. My first exposure to wheelchair basketball was an episode of Friday Night Lights that someone recommended. It was so rough and scary, that is why I put off letting Lauren try it. It is not nearly so rough when it is younger children.

  • You know, I think that a lot of things in childhood are more rough and scary than we think because they are the “normal things” in our memories. Even so, I have always, always been amazed when watching athletes with some sort of physical disability at how fearless and ferocious they can be. (Thinking about sled hockey. YIKES!)

    It certainly doesn’t matter what I think, but I do think it must be really empowering. And that for some, like our regular poster boy Wheelz, absolutely addicting. And the bumps and breaks are like “Whatever. I’ve already been through X,Y, and Z. I’m tougher than this.” To be able to take that sort of charge of yourself and to be just as tough as the next guy, to not be “the wheelchair guy”… It would make me feel like a super hero! I bet it does them too.

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