SMC Students Take On Wheelchair Basketball Stars

Clank. Bang. Swoosh. Another point for the professional wheelchair basketball stars as they dominate the court against Saint Mary's students.

The unlikely match-up took place on October 25 as 13 students from the graduate MBA and Kinesiology master's program took on wheelchair basketball superstars Trooper Johnson and Chuck Gill. The professionals outscored the master's students, racking up a cool 15 points before the students scored their first basket. Johnson, a Team USA Wheelchair Basketball star looked fearless on the court, weaving in and out of traffic and guiding his team to an easy victory over the students.

Before the game, students attended a panel discussion on disabled sports organized by graduate Management professor Linda Herkenhoff. Johnson and Chris Finn, the U.S. Power Soccer coach, along with other members of the disabled sports community, provided insight into the exciting and expanding disabled sports world. "I think the wheelchair basketball event was a very valuable experience and opened my eyes to the world of disabled sports and how rewarding they can be," says Kinesiology graduate student Henry Graham.

The pros then stepped off the court, and it was students versus students. The students, strapped into wheelchairs specially designed for the sport, played against each other, making a more even match-up. MBA student Andy Fine won the tip-off over Graham, and the teams exchanged buckets throughout the contest. The third game incorporated students and wheelchair athletes and again the game was pretty even. "I had a lot of fun playing the members of the USA team and would be happy to do it again," Graham says.

Sarah Peters MBA '11 and Kelly Fisher '11