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UA women’s wheelchair basketball team shoots for another title

University of Alabama

The University of Alabama will be hosting the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Women’s Wheelchair Basketball National Championships Friday and Saturday. The top five teams in the country will be playing to win the championship. Ryan Hynes is the Women’s Wheelchair basketball Head Coach at the University of Alabama. He says why students and other people from the community should go support the team.

“If you like sports, you will love adaptive sports; you will love wheelchair basketball. It is a lot of fun to watch, very high intensity,” Hynes contends. “Like I said, we have the best college teams here this weekend so it is going to be some high intensity, high level skill basketball. So again, if you love basketball, you will love wheelchair basketball.”

Hynes said that the program started on 2003, and since then has been successful. This success has helped to bring attention to the sport. The women’s team has win eight national championships, and is ranked number one in the nation. They will be playing the semi-final on Friday at Stran-Hardin Arena on the UA campus. Despite the successful history of the team, the program expects to keep highlighting the players and the sport in general.

“We are always striving to do the best that we can and get more eyes on us, and just showcase our athletes. They are pretty amazing and some of stuff they are able to do is amazing and people should see it and should be showcased,” said Hynes.

Other sports ‘success, including the men’s stand-up basketball, has a positive effect on wheelchair basketball. Hynes explained why this happens.

“Any sport on campus that is doing well draws attention at the university. And people look at sports as a whole, if anything, I think it draws a little more attention to it,” he said. “You might see something about the stand-up team and then look into what the wheelchair basketball is doing, and see that we have been doing pretty well as well. So, hopefully, it brings more attention to our sport and what we have been doing this season and the program as a whole.”

Hynes said that attending to the games is just one way people can support the sport. Since Alabama Adaptive is not under the athletic department window, they rely on donations and sponsorships, and hope that people contribute to keep providing and the best equipment and aid for the athletes. Visit their website, bamaadaptive.com, to find out information about the team, program and other ways to support them.

Valentina Mora is a student intern at the Alabama Public Radio newsroom. She is an international student from Colombia at The University of Alabama. She is majoring in Communicative Disorders and Foreign Languages and Literature. She is part of the Blount Scholars Program and is also pursuing a minor in Music. Although she is not studying to become a journalist, Valentina enjoys reporting, interviewing and writing stories.
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