Rochester Wheels roll over Brockport basketball
Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 12:10
The Brockport men’s and women’s basketball teams took on the Rochester Wheels Friday, Oct. 26 in the “Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better” wheelchair basketball game. This was the second time Brockport hosted the event, which was organized by the student-run organization, Brockport Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities.
The men and women combined to make one team, with the men playing the first and third quarters and the women playing the second and fourth quarters.
The Eagles quickly learned how difficult it was to play basketball in wheelchairs when the Wheels scored the first points of the game. The Wheels were quick to roll up and down the court, whereas the Eagles had a difficult time. “My arms are sore” was heard many times from the Brockport side, but the players were all smiles after substituting out with another teammate. After the first half, the score was 30-24 in the Wheels’ favor.
During halftime, the Wheels played a scrimmage against each other to show just how intense the games can get, bumping into each other playing defense and rolling extremely fast down the court.
To start off the third quarter, the Eagles were given an extra 39 mercy points. The Wheels then scored 28 unanswered points against Brockport, who didn’t score again until three minutes into the fourth quarter. The end of the game was intense, with the lead going back and forth in the last two minutes. The Rochester Wheels won 74-73 in the end.
“It was a good workout,” said Brockport guard Derek Klein. “It was tough, but a good experience.”
“It’s cool to experience what they go through and how difficult it is to do what they do every day,” he said. “It was fun for us to see both sides of the spectrum.”
Members of the Wheels also enjoyed the friendly competition.
“This experience is very special to me, [because] others with abilities can be on our level and see what we do,” said Miguel Ortiz, a 35-year member of the Rochester Wheels.
Ortiz said he wanted people to know that those with disabilities are people too.
“We’re just like everybody else,” he said. “We strive and work hard for the same things, [but] we just have to do it differently and go down different avenues to get it.”
“We’ve been discriminated against for a long time,” Ortiz said. “And we’ve been fighting and fighting for so many years, but from where it was, to what it is now is a major difference.”