Holy Cross Lutheran Academy in Sanford, FL
Friday, May 5th, 2017
The Orlando Magic Wheels were scheduled to play a wheelchair basketball exhibition game this morning at Holy Cross Lutheran Academy. We were slated to play on the school’s outside court which wasn’t a problem since we had been experiencing drought conditions recently. Then, as luck would have it, for the first time in almost 2 months the day started out with a heavy downpour. Fortunately, the deluge passed thru before we were scheduled to start at 9 AM. It went from overcast skies to bright sunshine in the blink of an eye and we were good to go. All we needed was a little maintenance for the court. So the 3rd & 4th grade students at Holy Cross got their brooms out and proceeded to sweep the standing water off the playing surface.
It can be interesting playing exhibition games at Grade Schools because their basketball courts are always unique. The court at Holy Cross was no exception. It wasn’t just that the court was still a little wet from the earlier rain, but that it had a decidedly awkward slope from side to side. Undaunted, the Magic Wheels players literally pushed up and down for about a half hour to the raucous chants of ‘Let’s go Magic!’ You gotta love an enthusiastic audience.
After we finished our exhibition game some of the more ambulatory members of the team gave up their sports wheelchairs so students could try them out. We monitored several short games with the kids in our chairs as they got a feel for just how difficult playing basketball while pushing a wheelchair could be. Everyone that wanted to try one out had a chance to participate in the fun. I saw a lot of great effort and smiles as they pushed around the court. Not to be outdone by their students we gave the teachers and their principle a chance to show off their wheelchair basketball skills. Who knew that those teachers were so competitive…
Anyway, once we finished the live action on the court we had time for a few group photo opportunities. A couple of raccoons wandered over to the fence to see what was going on but apparently weren’t interested in getting their pictures taken and went back into the woods behind the school. We wrapped up the morning with a Q & A session with the Holy Cross 4th Graders. Actually that is the most important part of doing an exhibition game at a school – disability awareness. Whenever possible, the Magic Wheels try to make the time to educate and enlighten young people about the mysteries of living with a disability.
Thanks again to the Holy Cross Lutheran Academy’s faculity and students for their hospitality and enthusiasm!