MUSC physical therapy students host 5th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

VIDEO: MUSC physical therapy students host 5th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - For the past five years, physical therapy students at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) host a wheelchair basketball tournament called Shots with a Spin.

On Saturday, people with disabilities and without participated in games on The Citadel's campus.

Samuel Wakefield is on the Spartanburg Pistons Wheelchair Basketball Team. He's a Gulf War Veteran.

"I gave them 17 years and a leg that was enough for me," Wakefield said.

This is his second year participating in the tournament with his team.

"We have two double amputees, we have three spinal chords and we have three single amputees," Wakefield said.

He lost his leg in an automobile accident at Fort Stewart, after coming back from war.

"When I lost the leg, I didn't want to be seen," he said.

Now it's a different story. He encourages others to get back up again. Today he was part of the Shots with a Spin Wheelchair basketball tournament.

Ally Detig is a third year physical therapy student at MUSC. She helped organize the event.

"It's awesome for us because we work directly with patients similar to this and it's cool to see that just because you're in a wheelchair it doesn't limit you" Detig said.

Wakefield says people think playing basketball in a wheelchair can be easy, but he says that's not the case and it takes a different skill.

"You have to know how to bounce the basketball have it in your seat when you go... how many times you roll, a lot of things you have to remember other than when you're playing stand-up basketball," Wakefield said.

There was also and auto show at the event. Bobby Harrell brought out his Chevrolet Silverado that was customized in Indiana three weeks ago.

"A Country boy is not supposed to be in a van he's supposed to be in a pick-up truck," Harrell said.

He also has a modified ATV four-wheeler. Harrell is a wildlife and forestry consultant with a C67 cervical injury.

"We started a group for disabled sportsman getting some people back out the woods hunting, fishing and getting to enjoy stuff they didn't think they could," Harrell said.

The group is called South Carolina Disable Sportsman.

They say trying new things is not always easy.

"My first year playing too, I stayed more on the floor than anyone else going up for rebounds next thing I know I'm going backward," Wakefield said.

At the end of the day, they say it's all worth it.

"Determination, you can't just sit there and say I'm giving up, you can't do that," Wakefield said.

Also during the event, a four-year incomplete quadriplegic, Marka Danielle Rodgers, who is partially paralyzed performed a special dance.

"It's important for me to try and educate people that I'm no different than you or anybody else," Rodgers said.

She practices in front of a mirror to see how her body moves. She has more than 50 years of dance training and she says it's been a combination of trial, error and faith to continue dancing.

"If you can't feel exactly where you are in space you have to find other ways to understand how the body is moving," Rodgers said. "You rehearse in front of a mirror and go away from the mirror to make sure it stays in your body just like any other dancer would do," Rodgers said.

All proceeds from the event benefits a local organization called Achieving Wheelchair Equality.

For More information on the organizations:

South Carolina Disabled Sportsmen Email:

Achieving Wheelchair Equality:

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