Wheelchair basketball game brings community together

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(Photo by Brian Maschino)

Nearly 150 people packed the Cross Timbers Family YMCA in Flower Mound on Friday evening for the 4th Annual Southwest Military Wheelchair Basketball Exhibition game between military and first responders.

All-star wheelchair basketball military veterans from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Louisiana played FLOMO PD, the Flower Mound police wheelchair basketball team. The event demonstrated community involvement by showcasing the camaraderie and spirit between the military veterans and first responders.

The opening ceremony began with the posting of the colors by the Paralyzed Military Veterans of North Texas. Lisa “Red” Ledbetter brought the audience to tears by singing in acappella the National Anthem. Denton County’s Precinct 3 Commissioner, the Honorable Bobbie Mitchell, led the Invocation. Joe Dougherty, a representative from Senator Jane Nelson’s office threw up the tip-off.

(Photo by Brian Maschino)

Musical entertainment throughout the evening was provided by the talented and suave Lamont “DJ LC” Carlis. During half-time Caroline Carothers, Miss Texas 2016 performed a dynamic baton routine; the illustrious and talented Mav ManiAAcs performed and then rallied the audience in a line dance which truly indicated that Flower Mound has rhythm. And, Heather King, Miss Texas’ Outstanding Teen 2016 thrilled everyone with a stunning rendition of “God Bless America”. The Summit Club grilled up a mouth-watering barbeque, which was free for everyone.

“I think it was a great way for families to kick off Father’s Day weekend. It was something good for the community and brought everyone together,” said Kent Robinson, a retired Master Sergeant from the United States Marine Corps and Southwest Military Wheelchair Basketball Conference Director.

(Photo by Brian Maschino)

“The Southwest Military Wheelchair Basketball Conference thanks local businesses such as Heritage Health Solutions, Market Street, Cross Timbers YMCA, and Image Center for sponsoring this fun-filled community event. The exhibition game would not have been successful without these organizations coming together to support the event,” said Ron Davis, PhD, Southwest Military Wheelchair Basketball Director.

The exhibition game traditionally kicks off the Southwest Military Wheelchair Basketball Conference’s championship tournament between the military veterans teams. The tournament was held on Saturday and Sunday at Texas Woman’s University (TWU) Pioneer Hall in Denton. This year’s tournament featured 26 co-ed wheelchair basketball military veteran teams from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Arkansas.

(Photo by Brian Maschino)

The Tyler Thorns from Tyler, Texas won the 4th Annual Southwest Military Wheelchair Basketball Conference on Sunday.

The Southwest Military Wheelchair Basketball Conference is sponsored by Heritage Health Solutions in Flower Mound and hosted by TWU’s Project Injured Veterans Entering Sports Training (INVEST). Contributing sponsors are Lamont “DJ LC” Carlis, Cross Timbers YMCA, Springhill Suites, Market Street Flower Mound, Blue Cardigan, and Image Center.

For more information about the Southwest Military Wheelchair Basketball Conference and sponsorship opportunities please contact Kent Robinson at [email protected].

See more photos from the game here.

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