The National Wheelchair Basketball Championship

Wheelchair Basketball 2014RehabCare has its own spin on March Madness. RehabCare was a sponsor for the National Wheelchair Basketball Championship, hosted in Louisville, KY on April 3 – 6, 2014.

The NWBA (www.nwba.org) is the oldest and largest Disabled Sports Organization in the US for people with physical disabilities. It was established in 1948 to provide rehabilitation and reintegration for veterans returning from World War II. Today, the NWBA consists of more than 200 teams, 2,200 athletes and 600 coaches from 39 states in the US. The membership also consists of 18% disabled veterans. From 6-year-olds learning the basics of the game to the elite Paralympics players who rank amongst the best athletes in the world, the NWBA brings out the best in everybody. The NWBA has affiliations with the National Basketball Association (NBA), United States Olympic Committee (USOC), Paralympics, USA Basketball, the VA and Wounded Warriors.

Jayne Chilutti, OTR, RehabCare Program Director at Deer Meadows in Philadelphia, PA, is one of the Lead Classifiers for the NWBA. Alongside Jayne, we were excited to have many other RehabCare employees, including DPT and MSOT students, volunteering at this wonderful event. Our volunteers came from all over Kentucky, including the University of Kentucky DPT Program,
Spalding University MSOT program, and Jefferson County Community & Technical College PTA and OTA programs. Volunteers helped with everything from ticket sales to game day activities, from scorekeeping to stretching athletes (pre/post games), and even taping and massage.

Beginning on Thursday, April 3rd, the games concluded with the exciting Championship Games on Sunday, April 6th. A big congratulations goes out to the following teams who won:
• Women’s Division: University of Arizona Wildcats
• Division III: Carolina Tarwheels
• Championship Division: New York Rollin Knicks
• Junior Division: Minnesota Timberwolves
• Junior NIT Division: Rockford Jr. Chariots
• Junior Prep Division: Atlanta Wheelchair Hawks

In addition to the exciting games during the day, the NWBA hosted a great VIP/Celebrity game along with an Armed Services Salute Game, Medical All-Star Game, and a shootout. The NWBA also hosted a Junior Division High School Transition Forum for parents and students to meet with collegiate coaches and discuss schools, athletic eligibility, ACT/SAT scores, courses to take, etc. This was a wonderful opportunity for students to explore next steps in potentially moving to the collegiate level.