Wheelchair basketball is the wheel deal

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Gunnar Boag, Sports Contributor

Intramurals hosts wheelchair basketball skills challenge.

Basketball takes a high level of skill to play. Getting the ball in the hoop and dribbling down the court takes refined technique and a notable amount of hand-eye coordination to be successful. Imagine doing confined to a wheelchair.

Students were faced with this while competing in the Intramural Wheelchair Basketball Skills Challenge.

On April 28, students took on three different skill tests in Dixon Recreation Center Upper Courts, while competing for intramural titles.

The first event was the obstacle course, where competitors tried to finish as quick as possible. Students weaved through cones into a layup, then moved to a chest pass through a target, and finished with another layup.

At the end of the challenge, senior Jake Oelrich led the men’s division with a score of 26.21 seconds, which was the fastest time of the day.

“I think I had a better wheelchair than everyone else,” Oelrich said.

Angela Fuchs won the women’s division with a final score of 43.26 seconds. There was no second round for the obstacle course.

“Just keep pushing,” Fuchs said when asked about how she won the event.

Next up: the free throw challenge. Students were given ten free throws, with the top four men and top two women moving onto the second round.

After 20 free throws, sophomore Bryan Kim led the group with 11.

Katie Granato finished on top for the women’s division with seven made free throws.

“I’d like to dedicate this victory to my friend Brandon Kerr,” Kim said at the end of the contest.

The final event of the day featured a spot-up shooting contest. Spots on the floor were labeled with different point values. A short range shot was worth two points, a mid-range shot was worth six points and a three pointer was worth ten points.

The catch? Students could not shoot in the same spot twice in a row. Not only was this a shooting challenge now, but students had to move around as well. Players that were quicker with their wheelchair gained a distinct advantage as they could produce more shots.

After two rounds, Granato took home the women’s title with 18 points.

For the men’s division, Jacob Flores finished with a whopping 36 points, claiming the final title of the day.

The Wheelchair Basketball Skills Challenge was intramurals’ adaptive sport for the term. Otherwise known as recreational or competitive sports designed for people with disabilities. These intramural events give students a chance to try a sport they might not normally do.

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