Disabled athletes play ball during Hoopfest

Disabled athletes play ball during Hoopfest

With nearly 500 brackets, there is a Hoopfest category for everyone.

Just off Bridge St., a unique take on basketball: men, women and kids playing in wheelchairs. They sweep across the court with the occasional crash, chanting and basket.

“We’re two and one and we are having a great time,” Robert Madruga with team Sin Fire said.

He adds Saturday they won both of their games but today was the real test.

“We’re playing the reigning champions from last year so that’s going to be a challenge,” Madruga said.

His teammate, Cody Mace, is playing in his 10th Hoopfest in a wheel chair. Mace say’s the game as changed a lot over the decade.

“It’s become more intense throughout the years,” Mace said. “More guys are coming from all over. We have a couple of guys from Texas and Illinois.”

Completing the duo is Robert Gregory, who joined the team this year and is playing in his first Hoopfest

“It’s been amazing to have team St. Luke’s ask me to play Hoopfest with them,” Gregory said. “It’s been great.”

The team unfortunately would not be able to pull off the win and advance in the bracket but they say they will be back next year, ready to win.