By Alisa Festagallo
In honor of National Disability Awareness Month the University of West Florida hosted the 12th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game Oct. 24 against the Mobile Patriots wheelchair basketball team.
The game consisted of four 15-minute quarters, where each quarter a new team comprised of Argonauts men’s and women’s basketball players, Army and Air Force ROTC and student organizations competed against the Patriots.
The Mobile Patriots play against more than 2000 teams around the nation, and their talent showed that night. The team was able to smoothly move the ball down the court, run plays and sink shots.
Sherman Nobles first saw wheelchair basketball when we he was working out at the gym, trying to stay in shape. He said he saw the Patriots practicing and knew it was something he wanted to do. He has been playing for the team for nine years and was the leading scorer against UWF.
“The UWF teams were fun competitors,” Nobles said. “It’s events like this that make me want to continue playing for as long as I can.”
The Southern Edge Dancers, 2 Live Crew, and Common Ground and Old School Steppers provided entertainment between quarters. They got the crowd on their feet and excited for every quarter of the game.
Halftime offered more entertainment with the Zeta Phi Beta and Phi Beta Sigma performances and free giveaways, like T-shirts, water bottles, drawstring bags and stress balls.
Bethany Appleton, a sophomore elementary education major, was asked by her sorority to come out and play for UWF. Her Alpha Gamma Delta sisters supported her loudly from the stands.
“It was a lot harder than I thought it would be,” Appleton said. “It was hard to shoot so low to the ground, and just after one quarter the muscles in my arms were aching. I was impressed by how well they moved the ball. I was not expecting it to be that difficult.”
The Patriots controlled all four quarters and ended the game with a 28-point lead. After the game both teams shook hands and took pictures.