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aerial view of the Husson University campus

Wheelchair Basketball Players Take to the Court at Husson University

Published on: March 17, 2022

people participating in a wheelchair basketball game
Image from the 2019 Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. (Photo taken by Kevin Bennett)

BANGOR, MAINE – Husson University’s Organization of Physical Therapy Students (OPTS) is hosting the 22nd Annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at Newman Gymnasium at 1 College Circle in Bangor, Maine on Sunday, March 20, 2022 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Any Husson University student, faculty member, staff member or graduate is welcome to put together a five-person team and participate. 

“I’m so excited to be able to participate in the wheelchair basketball event this year,” said Emelia Palmer, the vice president of Husson’s OPTS club. “It’ll be especially sweet since we weren’t able to host this event for the past two years because of COVID-19. Before the pandemic, students used to rave about participating in wheelchair basketball. It’s a terrific way for all of the physical therapy majors to get together, talk, compete, and stay active. I plan to participate every year I’m in the program!”

While the event is open to everyone in the Husson community, teams comprised of Husson University physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) students will find the event to be both fun and educational. Wheelchair basketball competitions provide PT and OT students with a greater appreciation of the challenges confronting the physically disabled. This understanding will help the students as they work with future clients who have mobility issues.

“Wheelchair basketball requires a lot of skill and upper body strength. It’s not as easy as it looks,” said Palmer. “As a future physical therapist, it’s my job to help people adapt to mobility challenges. Staying active is important to good health. Just because you’re in a wheelchair doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sports. I think everyone in the community needs to appreciate that the disabled can still be athletes and have fun.” 

Awheelchairhusson2KB-1.jpgThe event is free and open to the public. Spectators will be able to enjoy multiple games of wheelchair basketball. As a way of stimulating fundraising, the OPTS students will be selling raffle tickets for a variety of popular prizes donated by local area businesses during the competition. Prizes include haircuts, sporting goods, restaurant gift cards (including two $100 gift cards to Dunkin’ Donuts), gift cards for local grocery and department stores, ski passes, movie tickets, shoe and book store gift cards, discount cards for entertainment venues (including the Bangor Escape Room and the Orono Trampoline Park), and much more. All of the proceeds from the food, drink and raffle ticket purchases will go toward supporting SOARing Eagles Healthcare, a free pro bono physical therapy clinic run by Husson University students. The pro bono clinic offers free physical therapy services to anyone, of any age, who is uninsured or underinsured, and needs treatment but cannot afford to pay for it themselves. Donations will also be used to help support a scholarship for physical therapy students.

Anyone attending this event can purchase raffle tickets. Individuals must be present to win. Raffle tickets are $1 each or six for $5. To make a direct online donation to support this event, visit https://igfn.us/form/LO4e6Q.  For more information about the upcoming wheelchair basketball competition, please contact Emelia Palmer via email at palmerem@husson.edu.

Husson University’s Organization of Physical Therapy Students promotes academic excellence, public service, and professional networking through a series of meeting and fundraising events. The group is dedicated to promoting healthy life styles, raising awareness of disability-related issues and encouraging professionalism within the discipline of physical therapy.

OPTS members are all students in Husson University’s School of Physical Therapy. This school provides the advanced knowledge students need to become skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who collaborate with a patient’s health care team to help maximize function. Students can enroll in any of three programs: a six-year Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy degree; a three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy degree or a Doctor of Physical Therapy/ Master of Business Administration dual degree program.

The School of Physical Therapy is just one of several schools that are a part of Husson University’s College of Health and Pharmacy. Others include the School of Nursing, the School of Occupational Therapy and the School of Pharmacy.

The facilities at Husson University include designated physical and therapy lecture rooms and labs, a cadaver dissection lab, excellent library resources and wireless computer access.

For more than 120 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to a recent analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit Husson.edu.

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