Wesleyan’s men’s basketball team recently learned what it’s like to dribble, pass, guard, and shoot baskets without ever setting foot on the court.
On Jan. 21, the team traveled to New Britain, Conn., to meet members of the Connecticut Spokebenders Wheelchair Basketball Team. The Spokebenders are one of the longest-running competitive wheelchair basketball teams registered with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA).
After watching the team practice, the Spokebenders welcomed the Cardinals to participate in a few drills via wheelchair, and eventually challenged the Wesleyan athletes to a scrimmage.
“Thankfully they took it easy on us,” said Wesleyan Assistant Coach Tyler Gaffaney. “Afterwards, we mingled and got to know each other and called it a day. It was a great experience all around.”
The CT Spokebenders was founded in 1965 at the Easter Seals Rehabilitation Center of New Haven, Conn. Since the early 2000s, the Spokebenders have been primarily supported by the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain. The team competes in tournaments throughout the United States.
“The enthusiasm and instant camaraderie between Spokebenders and Cardinals alike was inspiring,” said Wesleyan Head Coach Joe Reilly. “The great game of basketball has the unique ability to bring people from various backgrounds together to share their love for the game.”
Donations to the Spokebenders can be made online here.
Photos and a video of the gathering are below: