WUFT News

Wheelchair basketball players battle for dominance on the court

By on May 7th, 2013

The rock bounces on the court, a player lines up a shot to the net — swoosh — and the wheels keep spinning.

In this basketball game, metal meets metal as players in wheelchairs crash, fall and bruise each other to get the win.

The season for the Orlando Magic Wheels, a wheelchair basketball team from Orlando, may be over, but the work to raise funds, raise awareness and recruit new players never stops.

During games, wheelchairs collide at full speed and sometimes players fall. They have to use the strength of their arms to push themselves up to keep playing.

Injuries can happen. Connie Sloat, a player for the team, broke her wrist in one game. She  said she’s been playing for 16 years and loves it.

Spina bifida. Amputations. Paraplegia. Sloat doesn’t see people with disabilities in wheelchairs anymore; she sees people having fun.

Joyce Prakke said serious injuries don’t happen often during games, but if they play, players can expect to leave with scratches and bruises. She’s been playing for 13 years.

If one has a lower-limb disability and is coordinated enough to push a wheelchair and handle a basketball, he or she can join the team.

The next season for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association starts in September.

Andrew V. Pestano wrote this story online.


This entry was posted in Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Sports

Local Youth Sports Programs Offer Affordable Options For Players

The cost of youth sports is skyrocketing, keeping some children from playing. Some non-profit organizations and subsidized programs are applying for grants to sponsor less expensive options and give everyone a chance on the field.


Kirby Snead celebrates  Florida's win over FSU with his team on June 6.

Photos: Florida Baseball Advances to World Series After Weekend Wins

The Florida Gators baseball team swept the NCAA Super Regional against FSU over the weekend. UF will go on to the College World Series, playing the University of Miami on Saturday.


Dalton Guthrie slides head-first back to first base.

Gators Sweep NCAA Baseball Gainesville Regional

The Florida Gators baseball team completed the sweep of the NCAA Gainesville Regional on Sunday. UF will host the winner of the Tallahassee Regional this weekend.


Michael White was formally introduced as the new Florida head men's basketball coach. White will replace Billy Donavon who spent 19 seasons as head coach for the Gators.

Gators Introduce Michael White As New Men’s Basketball Coach

Jeremy Foley introduced Michael White as the new head coach of the Gators men’s basketball team on Monday. White had been the head coach at Louisiana Tech since 2011.


University of Florida gymnastics coach Rhonda Faehn has resigned to take a position with USA Gymnastics.

UF Gymnastics Coach Rhonda Faehn Resigns

University of Florida gymnastics coach Rhonda Faehn has resigned to take a position with USA Gymnastics.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments