Do you know what NWBL stands for?
It stands for National Wheelchair Basketball League.
The NWBL has the same teams as the NBL... The hawks, kings, wildcats etc. The rules are more or less the same ( with some modifications for obvious reasons) and the men and women who play in this league are conditioned athletes, who train their butt off, who are committed and who travel around the country and the world playing Basketball. - many of them going on to represent Australia at one point in their life.
A common misconception about wheelchair basketball is that everyone who plays is paraplegic. This is not the case. Some players are paraplegic, whilst others are amputees and others have a condition or injury that prevents them from playing able bodied basketball or other able bodied sports.
My dad for example has a broken disc in his spine.... My dad plays for the Wollongong Roller Hawks.
Prior to his injury, my dad use to love playing basketball - I have even been told that this is how my parents met; playing coed basketball. I guess around the time they told my dad he would never run again, he also gave up on the thought of ever playing basketball again.
One year when I was a lot younger, my dad took me to the Sydney Royal Easter Show and their was an exhibit on wheelchair basketball. I told my dad to get in the chair and give it a go - he did, he couldn't believe how hard it was and the rest we can say is history....
My dad has now travelled the country and gone overseas playing wheelchair basketball. He has made so many lifelong friends from playing and seen and done things, he probably wouldn't have ever done without it.
Hawks Grand Final cake
Last Sunday my dad's team, the Wollongong Roller Hawkes won the NWBL!!!
Back page of the Illawarra Mercury :)
I am so proud of my dad and his dedication to his training 7days a week, even as he gets closer to the big 50! Wheelchair basketball is so difficult, I can't even explain, but if you ever get a chance to sit in a chair and shoot at the hoop you'll see...
Dad enjoying a drink from the winning cup
I don't think my little brothers can remember a time without wheelchair basketball in their life. Without them knowing it has taught them so many valuable lessons. They don't look twice at people with visible physical disabilities and they know regardless of what life throws at you... You can turn it around, you never have to give up, you just take a different path to your dreams.
The winning team and cutting the winning basket
For any of you who have never watched a game of wheelchair basketball, I strong suggest you do. Even if you just start with watching it on the TV for the upcoming paralympics. These athletes don't need you to feel sorry for them, but the support of fans, I know, means a lot. Who wouldn't want to play in front of a roaring crowd??
Have you ever tried to play or watched wheelchair basketball?
Did you know the Australian team won gold in the Beijing Olympics?