It was 1946 when World War II veterans played the first wheelchair basketball game in the United States. Since then it has spread throughout the world, and now thousands of athletes play it.
Shortly after the beginnings of Wheelchair Basketball in 1948, the (NWBA) National Wheelchair Basketball Association was developed. That was the beginning of the sport as we know it today. The NWBA is comprised of over 200 teams within twenty-two conferences. Today’s teams include men's, women's, intercollegiate, and youth. A handicap point structure allows paraplegics, incomplete injury quadriplegics, amputees, polios, and orthopedically-disabled players to compete in the sport.
In 2008, Global Opportunities Unlimited had the opportunity to help our local wheelchair basketball team. Together we built a program that is very active, practicing weekly, getting youth involved, and competing nationally with the best of the best wheelchair basketball teams. Our National competition team is called the Albuquerque Kings. Hard work, practice, and dedication give disabled individuals the opportunity to join our team.
The Kings practice weekly at several different locations in Albuquerque. The team’s players are dedicated, passionate, and love the sport because it is fun. It is their motivation that has gotten them into national competitions and classified in the top Championship Division of NWBA.
To help younger generations of disabled athletes, a juniors’ program is incorporated into practices. We are dedicated to helping introduce the sport to children and welcome them to participate anytime. Call ABQ Kings player Jake Schmalzriedt for more information (505) 515-5224 or visit their website www.abqkings.org.