Two Cincinnati wheelchair basketball teams heading to nationals

Cincinnati wheelchair teams heading to nationals

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Two Cincinnati teams are headed to the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.

The Cincinnati Dragons high school wheelchair basketball team is ranked #5 in the national wheelchair varsity rankings, and the Cincinnati Royals adult wheelchair basketball team is ranked #2 in the Division 2 rankings.

“Yeah, this is the first year the Cincinnati Royals have been ranked inside the top ten,” said Jacob Counts, Cincinnati Royals wheelchair basketball player.

"It’ll be very competitive at nationals, I mean, all the athletes are going to bring their best - and they all want to win, " said Adam Ayers, Cincinnati Royals Wheelchair Basketball.

Among the members of the teams is a Paralympian who played professionally in Europe, a teenager with cerebral palsy, and a player who lost his legs.

They never lost their love to play basketball.

“A lot of the aspects we love about traditional basketball, instead, we incorporate a wheelchair. But, not just a wheelchair, we incorporate a lot of technology into a wheelchair specifically for basketball.”

Made with two big wheels and four smaller wheels, it’s not just a chair, it’s a piece of sports equipment designed to help them cut quickly and stop even quicker.

“I’m a little nervous, but I think - not scared. We’ll be strong. We’ll be focused,” said Kerwin Haake, who plays for both the Royals and Dragons.

They say the support of the Cincinnati Recreation Commission and the Greater Cincinnati Adaptive Sports Club is what makes them so good.

The two teams will play an exhibition at the LeBlond Rec Center on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

The national tournament takes place in Wichita, Kansas from March 12 to 14.

Copyright 2020 WXIX. All rights reserved.