Fort Hood Sentinel
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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2014  06:32:32 PM

WTB wounded warriors ‘dribble and roll’ to wheelchair basketball victory

Email   Print   Share By Gloria Montgomery, WTB Public Affairs
October 10, 2013 | Sports
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With pointers learned from Coach Bennie Reine (far right), Sgt. Douglas Norton, Company D, 1st Battalion, WTB, manages to escape a grab from a Harker Heights Hustler. Gloria Montgomery, WTB Public Affairs
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Coach Bennie Reine’s offensive move prevents a Hustler takeaway. Both teams recently scrimmaged each other to refine their skills. Gloria Montgomery, WTB Public Affairs
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The city of Harker Heights started its adaptive sports program in 2010 and has been working with the WTB wheelchair basketball team since 2011. Gloria Montgomery, WTB Public Affairs
HARKER HEIGHTS - Although the Department of Defense’s Warrior Games are more than six months away, wounded warriors from the Fort Hood Warrior Transition Brigade are scrimmaging with local wheelchair basketball clubs, such as the Harker Heights Hustlers, to hone their basketball skills in hopes of making the 2014 Army wheelchair basketball team. Coached by a former Hustler, Bennie Reine, the WTB team scored a victory over the semi-pro team when the two teams played each other Sept. 21 at the Harker Heights Recreation Center.

For Soldiers like Staff Sgt. Ronald Dover, community volunteer efforts like those of Reine are much appreciated by the Fort Hood wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.

“Contributing their personal time to help us is much appreciated, said Dover, who is assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, WTB. “I’m also grateful for their efforts in welcoming us and helping us reintegrate into their communities.”

According to Susan Wilson, WTB adaptive reconditioning coordinator, wheelchair basketball is not only fun, but good for morale.

“During recovery, Soldiers sometimes feel that have been benched,” she said. “Wheelchair basketball gives them that sense of being back on a team. It’s also physical demanding and puts a twist on coordination. When you have to think about rolling and dribbling and playing offense and defense at the same time, it becomes a holistic game.”

The annual Warrior Games showcases the resilient spirit of today's wounded, ill or injured service members from all military branches. Besides wheelchair basketball, service members and veterans compete in archery, pistol, rifle, sitting volleyball, swimming and track and field events. Since 2010, more than 200 wounded, ill or injured service members and veterans have competed annually at the games, which is are held at the U.S. Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs, Colo.

For more information about the Warrior Games, visit www.wtc.army.mil/about_us/warriorgames2013.html.
 
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