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Wheelchair basketball takes the court

Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:50 a.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 11:01 a.m. CST
Caption
(Doug Oleson)
MidWeek file photo A Rockford Chariots player takes a shot at last year's wheelchair basketball exhibition game at the NIU Convocation Center.

DeKALB – The Rockford Chariots will square off against the Chicago Hornets in a wheelchair basketball game scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 11, at the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center.

The event marks the third consecutive year that a wheelchair basketball game has been sponsored by NIU’s Presidential Commission on Persons with Disabilities.

“This is our third year hosting the event,” said Greg Long, chair of the commission. “One of the most surprising insights for most spectators is how competitively these teams play. They are there to win. It’s not unusual for players to run into each other, see someone throw a pass behind their back or sink a three-point shot. The players’ approach to the game is invaluable in helping fans see disability as only one aspect of a person.”

Both the Rockford Chariots and Chicago Hornets are affiliated with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, which is comprised of more than 200 basketball teams in 22 conferences and seven divisions. It was founded in 1948 and today consists of men’s, women’s, intercollegiate and youth teams throughout the United States and Canada.

Long added, “I encourage everyone to come out to this game. It’s a family friendly activity and provides a new experience for most people. Perhaps most importantly, the game provides an opportunity to dispel myths about people with disabilities. We are all, first and foremost, people.”

The event will also feature free-throw contests and a raffle drawing.

For more information contact Sheila Milan at smilan@niu.edu or 815-753-9714, or Greg Long at glong@niu.edu or 815-753-6508.

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