National Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

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National Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
From left to right – Asst. Coach (former player) Adam Benner, Erik Knotts, Mike Fenster, Elijah Yoder, David Phillips, Keegan O’Reilly, Mekio Jarvis, David Patterson, Eliot Prior, Randy McMullen, Asst. Coach Mike White and Head Coach Shawn Kravchuck.

(Highland Hills, Ohio. May 14, 2013) - Thanks to a partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, the Achievement Centers’ Junior Wheelchair Cavaliers are seeing great successes both on and off the court. The team, formed just three years ago, recently competed in a Junior Wheelchair National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. Off the court, the positive influence and benefits of being a part of this team can be seen through individual players’ accomplishments, and through the hope planted for their futures by providing opportunities to them.

The Achievement Centers’ Junior Wheelchair Cavaliers competed in the National Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament April 17-20th, achieving 7th place overall against the 16 teams in the team’s division. The team’s members come from all over Ohio to practice and play. For the past three years, the team has been thrilled to play an exhibition game at half-time during a Cavalier’s game to enthusiastic cheers of the fans. Thanks to the continued support of the Cleveland Cavaliers, they will be preparing soon for the 2013/2014 season that starts in October.

For these determined athletes, there are extraordinary stories of achievement. The opportunity to continue to play basketball after a staph infection cost him the use of his legs has had immeasurable benefits for Patrick Tomic, who played with the team its first two years. As a result of his practiced skills, potential and passion for the game demonstrated while playing on the team, Patrick was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Illinois to play Wheelchair Basketball. Though no longer an official team member of the Junior Wheelchair Cavaliers, Patrick recently attended the National Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament and was an inspiration for the current athletes on the team. Patrick hopes other people in his position can find strength through his experiences. “You just know that whatever comes your way, you’re going to get through it and do well,” he said.

The Achievement Centers’ Junior Wheelchair Cavaliers Basketball team became the first such junior team in the state of Ohio in 2010. The sport is governed by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). This association is comprised of over 200 wheelchair basketball teams within twenty-two conferences. The team consists of 7-12 co-ed school-aged youth with physical disabilities. In addition to the Junior Wheelchair Cavaliers the Achievement Centers for Children’s Adapted Sports program includes adapted football, baseball, soccer and aquatics for children and young adults with a broad range of cognitive/developmental and physical disabilities.

The Achievement Centers for Children is a Cleveland area nonprofit organization whose mission is to enable and empower children with disabilities and their families to grow, learn, play and prepare for lifelong achievement in society. Providing comprehensive high-quality, cost-effective services and programs in the areas of therapy services, family support, education, autism services, recreation and adapted sports, the Achievement Centers for Children is uniquely positioned to care for children and their families at facilities in Highland Hills, Westlake and Camp Cheerful in Strongsville, Ohio. For more information, visit www.achievementcenters.org or call 216-292-9700.