Dozens of people throughout the Washington D.C. metro area proved through an exciting game of wheelchair basketball, that those who have suffered from debilitating injuries can overcome any obstacle.
Teams from as far away as Florida came to Walter Reed Army Medical Center’s Wagner Gym to participate in the 1st Annual Capital Wheelchair Basketball Invitational Tournament. Although the atmosphere was competitive, the event fostered communication and group involvement. At the end of the two day tournament, a champion was announced – The National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH) Ambassadors, who won by more than 10 points with a final score of 60-49.
Marine Sgt. Maj. Raymond Mackey, a Walter Reed basketball player, not only found the tournament fulfilling, but a way to stay physically fit as well. He tells WTOP-FM (103.5) News the sport is “more tactics than physical ability.” He strongly advises that anyone who wishes to participate in the sport “work the pick and roll, and play well with your teammates.”
Marine Sgt. Maj. Mackey and others like him share a new feeling of empowerment as a result of wheelchair basketball. The tournament is part of a larger effort by both the NRH and the USOC’s U.S. Paralympics program to provide U.S. veterans, who are returning from the field of combat, a chance to get re-accustomed to the community through adaptive sports such as wheelchair basketball, power soccer, sit volleyball, hand cycling, and more.
Watch the NRH Ambassadors in action!
By Jay Song, NRH Marketing Intern