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Section Header
Wildchairs face off against Wildcats

Photo
CHRYSTAL MCCONNELL/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Arizona men's basketball player Andre Iguodala makes a behind-the-back pass to a teammate during the UA Wildchairs Lame for a Game as Analee Olson tries to defend last night at McKale Center.
By Aaron Mackey
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday April 10, 2003

Men's and women's basketball teams play in wheelchairs to raise money, awareness

With less than six minutes left in the first half, UA junior guard Fil Torres let a shot fly, trying to break a close game wide open. The attempt never made it to the basket though because it was blocked by silly string.

In the 20th annual Lame for a Game at McKale Center, UA men and women's basketball teams faced the UA men and women's wheelchair basketball teams last night to raise money for the UA Disability Resource Center.

The game, which featured silly-stringing players and biased officials, also served to raise awareness about people with disabilities, said Rudy Gallego, head coach of the men's wheelchair basketball team.

"I think it opens a lot of people's eyes," he said.

The contest ended in sudden death overtime with a 72-70 Wildchair victory.

"It was a great game. It's great to see the community support us," Gallego said.

Over 4,000 fans showed up to cheer on the teams.

With less than two minutes on the clock in the second half, the Wildchairs received an assist from the scorer's table, earning 16 additional points, just enough for a tie.

Despite the Wildchairs' swift movement on the court, and help from the scorer's table, the Wildcats stayed close by utilizing 10-point All-Star bonus circles on the floor, as well as 10 frustration dunks. The 'Cats were allowed to stand up in the circles and when they made frustration dunks.

Without the 10-point bonuses, the 'Cats would have had a hard time catching up to the 'Chairs, who charged down the court many times and quickly scored. Gallego said the Wildcats' performance was good, especially since they had only practiced in the wheelchairs for two hours Tuesday night.

His team members agreed.

"The 'Cats played really well," said junior Wildchair Anthony Russo.

Wildcat senior guard Jason Gardner and freshman center Shawntinice Polk both played in the event and signed autographs before and during the game.

The Wildcats also threw out T-shirts and basketballs into the crowd, which freshmen Andre Iguodala and Hassan Adams entertained before the game with an informal slam-dunk contest.


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