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Paying tribute to a wheelchair b-ball pioneer

If you threw a basketball into the middle of a NASCAR racetrack, you might get something similar to wheelchair basketball.

If you threw a basketball into the middle of a NASCAR racetrack, you might get something similar to wheelchair basketball.

They say rubbing is racing and it certainly plays a role in the fastest basketball game on four wheels.

This weekend, out at Servus Place in St. Albert, almost 50 disabled and able-bodied athletes took to the court in the first ever McPherson Hoopfest.

“It’s been crazy busy, just nuts,” said program manager Neil Feser.

“But it’s been fantastic at the same time.”

Hoopfest was named in honour of Dr. Gary McPherson, who played an integral role in Alberta Northern Lights basketball.

“Back in the early ’70s, he was the team manager for eight years,” Feser said.

“We were looking to develop a new event to launch the year and we felt it was the perfect event to name after him.”

Highlights of the weekend included a representative from Wheelchair Basketball Canada on site helping classify athletes and making suggestions, a skills training competition for new and experienced athletes, a Jamboree tournament, and a tribute to the tournament’s namesake.

 
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