Junior Sioux Wheelers Finish 2nd at Nationals
by Jeff Rusack, Reporter
April 25, 2013 6:55 PM
A national championship…
A place few people plan on competing in.. especially a group of kids with their own disabilities.
Hunter Gronli:"You're just thrilled just knowing i got to go there."
Hunter got the Junior Sioux Wheelers off to a fast start..
Hunter says:"I scored our first two points for our team and it was 4-0 and I was quite excited."
And at half time things were looking up for the team.. who beat 4 teams soundly to get to this point
Michael Mitchell:"We were playing the best basketball I've seen us play ever."
Kids who had to sit on the sidelines for most of their lives.. are on the court participating.. and turning some heads in the process.
Michael says:"Not being able to do anything for so long and then you find something like this and its really something that you can.. You're not limited at all. especially when I couldnt play able bodied sports going to this and it takes your legs out of the equation."
Not every player is bound to a wheelchair during their regular life. A certain percentage of disability is determined for each player. So players like Michael and Hunter had no idea they were even eligible a few years ago.
Michael says:"Ii didn't even consider it because I'm not in a wheel chair all the time so."
The second half proved to be less favorable for the JR. Sioux wheelers when they fell short by just 2 points.
Mitchell says:"We were a little short on baskets but not short on effor becuase those kids put everything they could into that game.
I knew we were good but we didnt go into that thing thinking we were going to get first place or second place."
None the less. A little known team from Sioux Falls finished in second in the all of America.
Hunter says:"Not a lot of people can say that and we've got this nice tropy to show off too."
Just making them hungrier for next year's season..