15th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

7:41 PM, Mar 30, 2013   |    comments
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BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- To get around in a wheelchair is no easy task, and Saturday afternoon a group of college students learned how it is to play a sport with the physical handicap.

The Organization of Physical Therapy Students at Husson University in Bangor held their 15th annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. Around 10 teams competed. Some of which were made up of players who live every day in a wheelchair, and others made up of students who got a chance to see what it's like to live with a disability for the first time.

"Just the things you take for granted, they struggle with everyday. It's humbling," said Physical Therapy student Josh Clark.

One player who knows what it's like to get around in a wheelchair is 27-year-old Zachary Beaulieu. Beaulieu was paralyzed from the waste down after he was struck by a car at just 4 years of age. Wheelchair basketball was one thing that helped him get through his setback in life.

"Every now and then you're growing up and you reach a certain stage and then another period and there's little hitches," said Beaulieu. "But you get over it and you figure out a way to do it."

Around $1,500 was raised at the tournament. All of those proceeds will be donated to the independent living center Alpha One. The Maine organization assists more than 4,000 disabled people a year.

"We're able to help a lot of folks who are in pretty difficult circumstances often and it just feels great to be able to give back to the community," said Alpha One Independent Living Specialist Jeremy Libby.


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