NIU to host wheelchair basketball at Rec Center

The Rockford Chariots will square off against the Chicago Hornets in a wheelchair basketball game scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 5, at the Student Recreation Center.

It marks the second consecutive year that a wheelchair hoops game has been sponsored by NIU’s Presidential Commission on Persons with Disabilities and two units of NIU’s Division of Student Affairs & Enrollment Management: the Center for Access-Ability Resources and Housing & Dining.

Admission and parking are free.

Rockford Chariots
Rockford Chariots

“The event is open to the community, it’s free of charge, it’s entertaining and it provides an opportunity to recognize and conquer some of the attitudinal barriers that persist about people with disabilities,” said Michael Kavulic, a member of the Presidential Commission on Persons with Disabilities and lead organizer of the event.

Both the Rockford Chariots and Chicago Hornets are affiliated with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, comprised of more than 200 basketball teams in 22 conferences and seven divisions. Founded in 1948, it now consists of men’s, women’s, intercollegiate and youth teams throughout the United States and Canada.

“Last year’s game was fantastic, and so it just makes sense to bring the event back to NIU,” said Greg Long, chair of the Presidential Commission on Persons with Disabilities.

“The game provides a great opportunity to see these individuals as athletes,” Long added. “The competition should be fierce. People who have disabilities are no different than anyone else. Their disabilities are just attributes; they don’t define the person.”

Chicago Hornets
Chicago Hornets

The event will also feature prizes, contests, live entertainment, a raffle drawing and a sing-and-sign performance of the national anthem.

For more information, contact Kavulic at (815) 753-7407 or mkavulic@niu.edu.

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