RIM Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball Game 2009

Uploaded by awiderworld on 12.01.2010


The Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan is an in patient hospital with outpatient sites
located throughout Metropolitan Detroit.
One of the programs they sponsor is the Sports-ability program.
This program provides recreational and competitive sporting opportunities for
persons with disabilities.
Their biggest fundraiser of the year is the Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball Game.
We talked to the senior recreational therapist for RIM to learn more.
The Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball game is an event that we came up with a number
of years ago as a way to show people, showcase wheelchair basketball as a component of
wheelchair sports in addition to raising funding for our sports programs.
Unfortunately, things cost a lot of money, wheelchair basketball chairs, travel, all
of the components are programs entirely funded by donations, grants, fundraising, and we
thought what a great way to show people what it actually is, have celebrities play in
the wheelchair to give you a really good idea of oh this isn't just a little easy
Just pushing down the court and dribbling a few times gets you winded and so it is kind
of a good combination to showcase what we do and it is our primary fundraiser for our
sports program.
It allows us to do not only basketball, we have a bowling program, water ski clinics,
wheelchair games, track and field and then we do a number of clinics throughout the year
and all of this is at no charge to our participants.
This years celebrity wheelchair game was very exciting because it was our
first year that we were at the Palace and it was wonderful for our players as well as
everyone else to see our team at a venue that the Pistons play at.
So that was probably the most exciting part of it.
We have local news anchors and then local sports celebrities come and play in the game and
help coach the game and some people have done it year after year.
As a recreational therapist, Sue has worked with many patients.
She has seen that sports can be a way to help a person recover after an injury.
It gets a person back out into t he community and keeps them from being isolated.
Sports ability is a program that we came up with about ten years ago, in the hospital we
were concerned because as recreation therapists we see people initially and then they
might be involved in some outpatient therapy and then we never know what happens to
them, where do these people go?
And one of the things we discovered from talking to some people that have been out
of rehab for a while is that they don't have anything to do.
They can't go and play on the parks and rec.
basketball team.
And so we came up with the concept of doing some adaptive sports which is where you
might either need to use a chair or some sort of adaptation, but you can still
play in the sport and we came up with the idea to develop sports ability for people who
are pretty much done with the whole rehabilitation part of recovery and now they are kind
of out in the world and we offer a wide variety of things to do.
The sports-ability program provides funding for competitive wheelchair
basketball team.
The RIM Detroit Diehards.
Sue explains.
Today we are at a basketball practice.
About a year ago we raised enough funding so that we could have a competitive
wheelchair basketball team.
The reason it costs a lot of money is not only the equipment, but there's travel
Our team is going to go to all sorts of different states and we are gonna have teams come
It costs a lot of money to do that so last year we were finally able to start our
first competitive wheelchair basketball team and we are at a practice right now.
The actual games and competitions are going to be starting in a couple weeks.
We are going to be traveling all over and we are going to have people come here and play
and this is a practice session.
What is nice about our practice session, we have them a couple times a week and one
of the practice sessions on Tuesday, anyone can come to and play.
So it's not like I have to be an elite basketball player to come and work out.
These guys are excellent peers and people who can show others " hey you can do this, you can
try." So some of our newly graduated in-patients come on Tuesdays and we also open it
up to anyone in the local community.
We are really trying to bring adaptive sports programming to the city of Detroit and the
near by suburbs so people don't have to travel hours to find a place they can play
wheelchair basketball.
So we are at our practice and they are getting ready for a competition coming up.
So hopefully we will be winners.
For over 25 years Moe Phillips has competed in wheelchair basketball.
He has been a player and a coach on the national and international level.
Currently he's the head coach for the RIM Detroit Diehards.
Ok my role with the team is to make sure that first I pick the players in the area from
every rehab institute and throughout the metro Detroit area, some of the best players
to play with the Detroit Diehards.
Also it's teaching, mentoring of some of the young kids we have on this team.
And even some of the older players that we have like myself and Darrell Waller.
I am an amputee and I was born that way.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to play wheelchair sports but once I did get involved I
found out that people with disabilities a little bit more severe then I, I just had so
much respect and admiration for them because of the dedication that they have.
Let's say two days a week, plus weekends and stuff.
My hats just off to them, spinal cord injuries, spini bifida, like I said people who
are a little bit more severe disabled then I am.
I just admire them and that's what's kept me around for 30 plus years.
Moe has seen the difference sports can make.
Again Moe Phillips.
With people with disabilities, sometimes a lot of them were able bodied before they had
their injuries and it's a way to compete again to where, lets say some of them were
playing football, basketball, maybe even tennis and they were competing at a high
level, whether it was high school or college and it is just that they get that
competitive spirit back and that determination from playing wheelchair sports.
Not just wheelchair basketball but also wheelchair track and field, wheelchair tennis, they
get that feel back that they had when they were able bodied and it is a great feeling.
It's just like whether your playing with the Detroit Tigers or the Detroit
Diehards, it's a competitive spirit and I think it is fantastic.
Patrick Anderson is one of the players for the Rim Detroit Diehards.
Here he explains what he thinks about wheelchair sports.
Well sports helped a lot after the injury.
It took me probably a year and a half until I started getting involved with basketball.
It was after I saw the first Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball Game, and I was
like hey basketball in a wheelchair, I'm with that program.
I didn't play basketball too much before but I was into extreme sports.
I was into a variety of sports, I was athletic.
So from going from that to kind of a stand still just coping with getting into a
All the different programs that sports-ability allows, there are endless
I am more into skateboarding then anything, but even skateboarding and aggressive
sports; there are a lot of opportunities and a lot of things available for people in
Playing a sport after injury is really helpful in a sense you get out and you get to
meet people.
You might be hanging out with people you already knew you might meet new people,
regardless you're getting out, getting exercise.
And it's kind of like it's on rehab.
It rehabilitates you mentally because you get to socialize and you get to be physical and
rehabilitation physically for that reason because you get to be physical and you get to get
out energy and work out.
If someone has a disability they should definitely get involved in wheelchair sports.
Main reason being that it doesn't matter what your disability is, there is some
adaptive/multiple adaptive sports available to you and if your competitive there is
different categories and classifications for different people.
So your being competitive with like injuries of disabilities or whatever the case is.
So if you're competitive you can get into sports.
If you're not competitive it is just great to get out and do something.
You don't have to be competitive; you can just do it for fun.
But it really keeps you in touch with the fact that you are alive and just like
everyone else you can get along and do sports, be creative, have fun, all the
good things in life.
Wheelchair sports can help after an injury.
It is great to see hospitals like The Detroit Rehabilitation Institute of
Michigan support programs like sports-ability.
If you see a fundraiser for wheelchair sports in your area, go out and support it.
For more information about the Sports-ability program please visit rimrehab.org