NewsUplifting Arizona


Ability360 to kick off local summer wheelchair basketball league

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 07:29:42-04

Basketball is the same for the athletes at Ability360 as it is for anyone else.

"Definitely hoping that one day people will realize how great wheelchair basketball is, and how competitive we can be and how much we dedicate our lives to it," says Joe Underwood with Ability360.

Ability360 currently has three adult teams, which compete in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

"Some people, they are able to use certain chair skills where they don't have to use their hands on the wheels, they can just use their chair with their hips," says Jared Anderson, an athlete.

Most of the players on the court Thursday night in Phoenix are part of a team.

"We have so much fun; we're out here joking around. It's my favorite thing," says Myranda Shields, an athlete.

Myranda Shields joined one of the teams just six months ago, but she is already catching on.

"I'm fairly newly injured, my injury was just three years ago, so I'm very new to this world. But a lot of the players have been in it their whole lives, or since they were younger. So, for me, because I did play standing sports before, the team atmosphere is exactly the same," says Shields.

There's a spot for someone at every ability level.

"We're in the gym training, lifting weights. We do upper body workouts because we don't have to worry as much about the lower body," says Underwood.

Ability360 is holding a summer league beginning next Thursday, giving anyone interested a chance to participate.

"People who have never heard about this are the people who need to come to this... to give them a chance to play with people who play all the time but, also get the time to learn, get the chance to learn," says Nate Nassoiy, an athlete.

The hope is to bring more awareness to the sport on a local and national level.

"Maybe one day we will get the TV exposure and stuff like that, that we feel we deserve," says Underwood.