Rochester Wheels rolls into Kuhl Gym for basketball game

On Saturday March 31, the Student Council for Exceptional Children hosted the annual Rochester Wheels exhibition wheelchair basketball game in Geneseo’s Kuhl Gymnasium.

Rochester Wheels faced this year’s Geneseo team, which consisted of members of the Sigma Nu Chi fraternity and Alpha Omega Pi sorority.

“We hold this event to support disability awareness within the community and to show that anyone can do anything, but sometimes maybe just a little bit differently,” said senior Akira Maya, a member of the Council for Exceptional Children and organizer of the event.

The Rochester Wheels is a wheelchair basketball team that plays in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, facing teams from nearby Buffalo, N.Y. and locations as far as Indiana.

Following the national anthem, performed by a cappella group Southside Boys, the two teams took to the court.

The Rochester Wheels had a clear advantage with wheelchairs that were designed for the sport, while the Geneseo team played in wheelchairs of a more pedestrian design. The Rochester team had such a distinct advantage that they only received one point for each basket, while the Geneseo team received two.

The game started out uncompetitive, with members of Rochester Wheels actually helping members of the Geneseo team. At one point, a member of the Wheels gave the rebound of a shot attempted by a Geneseo player back to the shooter a number of times before she made the shot.

Sláinte, Geneseo’s Irish Dance performance group, performed at halftime. At this point, the Rochester Wheels had a 48-31 lead.

“Watch what happens in the second half,” Maya said. “[Rochester Wheels] are really going to step it up.”

And step it up they did. Despite a 30-point gain by the Geneseo team after halftime, the Rochester Wheels won the exhibition game 84–71.

“This is a wonderfully inspirational event,” said junior Southside Boys member Matthew Hayes. “It’s a great way to raise awareness about issues affecting the disabled community and to have fun while doing it.” All funds raised during the game went to Rochester Wheels.