Lake Norman Magazine

Basketball on wheels

The International Tournament of Champions, hosted by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, is coming to Lake Norman this month, so get ready to see trained athletes armed with speed and formidable skills out on the court.

“Most people generally say that for the first five minutes they see the wheelchairs, and then after that they just see the skill level of the players,” says Dick Bryant, president of the NWBA.

Bryant lost both of his legs to a train accident when he was 10. That didn’t stop him from being athletic. At age 20, Bryant was introduced to the world of wheelchair basketball and was instantly hooked. He’s been playing for 42 years. “It changed my life, and if you would talk to any wheelchair basketball player, then they’d tell you how it’s changed theirs.” For three days, top wheelchair athletes from around the world will compete at Lake Norman Charter High School. The USA Men’s team will compete with teams from Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, and Australia. The USA Women will be defending their title of World Champions and Paralympics Champions against Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan. Visit Lake Norman says the event is expected to generate more than $500,000 in visitor spending.

More informationInternational Tournament of ChampionsNational Wheelchair Basketball Association: 11-13 at Lake Norman Charter High School, 12701 Old Statesville Road, Huntersville. For tickets: E-mail or call Dick Bryant at 704-519-6062.