Kimbro needs to learn two words prior to playing Alabama wheelchair basketball, ‘Roll Tide’

Print Article

I was in Colorado a couple years back and was exposed to the wheelchair community a little bit through my sister Renee Lee’s Adaptive Recreation Opportunities programs at the City of Fort Collins.

“We’re doing wheelchair rugby tonight, want to come along?” she said.

Wheelchair rugby’s been around awhile (1977). It’s a Paralympic sport, but I’d never seen it up close and personal, so I jumped at the chance.

What a crazy sport. There is a reason the documentary called quad rugby “Murderball.”

Four guys on each team, eight chairs on the floor at one time, one ball. The goal is to get it past end line on the other end of the basketball court. I’m sure there’s rules, strategies and whatever, but to an able body watching from the sidelines, it seemed like an organized train wreck.

They got a rolling start and rammed into each other. They slapped at the ball, they knocked each other into the stands. It truly was game-on and this was just the recreational level.

At one point, two, three chairs upended, bodies went sprawling across the floor. Before I could ask, the game stopped and players from both teams gathered ‘round to help where they could. Some of these guys were quadriplegic, so it wasn’t easy getting back in the chair. But the chair community takes care of its own.

Here’s a bunch of people that looked like they’d eat their young during the action, gathering the chair and helping the guy they’d just sent flying back up off the deck. It was a lesson learned in an unlikely situation.

It also made me realize how many opportunities for the paraplegic and quadriplegic community have been developed over the past couple of decades.

It makes me proud to see Moses Lake senior Spencer Kimbro taking his game to the next level at the University of Alabama. Kimbro owns the Washington boys para-athlete state record in the 400 meters (55.97 seconds). He competed at the Pan Am Games. His passport even has a Qatar stamp. Now Spencer is going is going to play NCAA Division I basketball next year.

“As soon as I got there I just fell in love with the campus. I enjoyed playing with them and just meeting the guys,” he told the Herald last week after signing his national letter of intent. “It just felt right to be down there.”

Memorize these two words, dude, “Roll Tide.”

Alabama is one of 12 universities in the country that sponsors wheelchair athletics. The Tide’s men’s program won the national championship in 2013 and the women’s team is the defending national champions.

Being a Yankee, Spencer probably ought to learn a few words from “Sweet Home Alabama,” especially the line, “... And I hope Neil Young will remember, a Southern man don’t need him around anyhow …”

I’m hoping Spencer might try his hand at wheelchair rugby if he has a little spare time down south. Or at least check out the Academy Award nominated documentary “Murderball” that captured the spirit of some of the most competitive and relentless athletes on the planet.

Wheelchair bound, I don’t think so.

“Sweet home Alabama,

Where the skies are so blue.

Sweet home Alabama,

Lord, I'm coming home to you, here I come.”

Rodney Harwood is a sports writer for the Columbia Basin Herald and can be reached at rharwood@columbiabasinherald.com

Print Article

Read More Sports

Patriots make 3rd straight Super Bowl, beat Chiefs 37-31 OT

AP

January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The New England Patriots are headed to their third straight Super Bowl, once more thanks to Tom Brady’s brilliance. The five-time NFL champion guided the Patriots 75 yards af...

Comments

Read More

Blown call, Zuerlein’s 57-yard FG send Rams to Super Bowl

AP

January 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A big comeback. A blown call. And, finally, a booming kick that sent the Los Angeles Rams to the Super Bowl. After rallying from an early 13-0 deficit, the Rams stunned the New Or...

Comments

Read More

Seahawks sign former 1st-round QB Paxton Lynch

AP

January 18, 2019 at 5:00 am | Associated Press RENTON, Wash. (AP) — The Seattle Seahawks are giving quarterback Paxton Lynch another chance in the NFL. Lynch’s signing Thursday throws the former first-round pick directly into...

Comments

Read More

“Up and down” in 2018, what will extraordinary Shaquem Griffin be in 2019? Inspirational. Again

January 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald His was a debut like no other in NFL history. He wowed the scouting combine, and said: “Don’t set limits on me.” In the spring he became the first one-handed player drafted into the modern NFL. B...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2019 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X