Basketball on wheels: Wheelchair tournament draws teams from all over the country



By Gary Hermann

The games are scheduled to begin Friday at 10 a.m. and go to 6 p.m. Play resumes Saturday at 8:30 a.m. and goes to 6 p.m.

This year’s tournament will host both the Championship Division and Division III. The Division III championship game is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. on Sunday. The Championship Division championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday.

“It’s a great event for UK to have on campus,” UK Campus Recreation Intramural Director Charlie Burk said. “It’s a great event on many levels.”

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, and particularly the Department of Parks and Recreation, is proud to have this event take place in Lexington for the 33rd time, said John Bobel, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government public information officer.

“These are some of the finest athletes in the United States,” Bobel said.

Both Bobel and Burk expect a large turnout for this weekend’s games.

Teams from as far away as Texas, Michigan and Florida will be traveling to play in Lexington.

“This is one of the biggest and best tournaments in the United States,” Bobel said.

Last year’s Bluegrass Invitational Tournament Championship Division champion (Shepherd Stealers, from Georgia) and Division III champion (Hill on Wheels, from Kentucky) will be returning to defend their titles this year.

“It’s a tough game. These men and women play to win,” Bobel said.

“It’s NASCAR meets the NBA,” Bobel said. “These games are very physical, but there are as many rules as an NBA or NCAA basketball game.”

Burk believes people need to experience these games first-hand.

“Prepare to be surprised,” Burk said. “You need to go and watch (these games). I can try to explain what it’s like, but until you see it, you don’t understand the level these athletes play at.”