On March 7th, Granite State Independent Living (GSIL) hosted their 9th Annual Hoops on Wheels event at Rundlett Middle School in Concord, NH. This annual wheelchair basketball event raises money for GSIL programs which “promote quality of life with independence for people with disabilities and seniors through advocacy, information, education, support and transition services.” Hoops on Wheels also raises awareness of the incredible adaptive sport of Wheelchair Basketball. The games were played on two courts at the school with round robin games in the morning followed by an 8 team competitive tournament in the afternoon. Athletes Roll was able to stop by to take in some of the action and chat with the event coordinators, GSIL staff and some of the teams competing.
Cindy Phillip and Debbie Ritcey of GSIL talked with me for a bit to explain all about the annual event and how things have evolved over the 9 years. Currently there are 23 teams with 8 to 12 players on each. Teams can be mixed with male and female and with disabled and able-bodied players. They play a 30-minute game of two 15-minute halves with a 5-minute break in between. All players are in a push rim chair and follow most traditional basketball rules with regulation hoop height. The biggest difference is the travel rule in that you have to dribble after every two pushes of your chair. Some players are very good at getting a lot of distance with their two pushes!
Hoops on Wheels has come a long way in their 9 years. 16 teams competed in their first event which raised just under $20K. This year they expect to raise over $50K which will be their largest fundraiser of the year. I spoke with the Wolves on Wheels, an all-girls team from the National Honor Society at Prospect Mountain High School, well, all girls until one of their boyfriends saw how much fun it was and joined the team that day! Some of their thoughts were:
It’s so fun and so much harder than it looks and so much harder than I expected.
It started as a service and fundraiser for the honor society, and I think it is such a great organization to support.
A great way to raise money and family and friends enjoy coming to watch.
This is definitely something I hope continues on with the Honor Society because it’s such a great event.
Next year we hope to be in the competitive bracket!
I was able to catch the end of one of the Wolves games. They were behind most of the game, and ended up tying and then winning the game in the last 2 minutes 18-16. A very exciting finish and a very excited and happy team! This is the third year for the Capital Hoops team playing in the competitive tournament. They found it very hard and didn’t do well in last year’s tournament. All have played traditional basketball before and cannot believe how tough wheelchair basketball is and what strength it takes to play.
Net Returns, a team comprised of Granite Investment Advisor employees and family, have participated all 9 years. They think it is a great event and are thrilled to fundraise and bring awareness to adaptive sports. They are always surprised to see how sore and tired they are after playing. This is such an eye-opening event!
We were happy to be there to help support Granite State Independent Living. In its ninth year, Hoops on Wheels continues to show how strong Wheelchair Basketball players must be physically and mentally to be able to play this game. Check out some photos below and make sure to follow us and GSIL on social media!
Granite State Independent Living
“Granite State Independent Living (GSIL) is a statewide nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote quality of life with independence for people with disabilities and seniors through advocacy, information, education, support and transition services.”
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