March 14th, 2014 | Uncategorized
Since my injury, I’ve been contacted frequently by the Titans Basketball Club treasurer and current Wheeler’s player David. David has asked me to play in the club’s wheelchair basketball league and thought it would be a great idea considering I severely miss playing. I’ve always wanted to give it a try but now it seemed like given the circumstances the time was just right. So after coaching this Wednesday night, I participated in my first wheelchair basketball scrimmage.
I’m not going to lie I was pretty intimidated from the jump, given that I barely knew how to turn in a wheelchair let alone stop and change direction quickly. Before the tip off David told me the rules with dribbling and pushing the wheelchair and said overall, “Just have fun.” Well that I did, luckily I caught on fast and was able to work with my team to make some good plays.
I couldn’t help but think of the popular Guinness commercial that went viral months ago while I was playing. It was interesting I didn’t know who was actually in a wheelchair permanently and who was ‘able-bodied’ and just wanted to participate. I think it was somewhat ironic that I didn’t know who on my team or who of my competition was physically disabled or not because ultimately that is the entire point. The greatest and most challenging part about playing wheelchair basketball is that every player is bound by the same adversities.
I learned right away how to effectively play defense, as one of the old time players forcefully crashed into me. It was all in good fun, but completely took me off guard and he seemed to be everywhere I turned throughout the entire game. I had no idea of the physicality of the game. I’m glad no one took it easy on me because that’s how I will get better. Playing reminded me of a mixture of ice hockey and bumper cars, as you want to do so many different movements with the ability to coast, but also having the potential to unexpectedly get hit off course.
Overall I had an amazing time playing with these guys. I used muscles in my arms and sides that you wouldn’t normally use and got a great work out. It was also really awesome to see the comradery of it all, as a few times throughout the game some players flipped out of their chairs and players from both teams would all quickly respond to help the other person up.
Although I can’t run I was still able to participate in a basketball game which was rewarding in itself, but overall to know that there are always alternative options for you to do what you want is extremely comforting. I’m looking forward to more games to come!