PETE PAGUAGA — Sports Editor
The Connecticut Spokebenders are a team of men and women from Connecticut who have disabilities ranging from Paraplegia, Legg Perthes Disease, Polio, Primary Lateral Sclerosis, Spina Bifida and Amputees; they compete in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA).
Last week they visited New Haven to play against students from Southern. They ranged from athletes to administration. Some of the Southern athletes that participated were men’s basketball team members Trevon Hamlet and Greg Langston, football players Chris Hazelton and Jerome Cunningham and others.
Even though the Southern team only scored eight points in the first half, both the Spokebenders and Southern team were having a blast.
It was so much fun to watch, seeing Hamlet shoot, sitting all alone under the net missing an easy shot at least five times in a row as members of the Spokebenders kept giving the ball back to him.
Finally after he made the shot, fans and players on both teams couldn’t hold back laughter. Did I mention that when one of the Spokebenders passed the ball back to him it drilled him in the head?
The Spokebenders themselves were having a great time throwing no-look passes but always staying ahead.
At one point at the end of the third quarter when Southern scored they were getting four, even five points per basket.
Southern football player Willie Epps was the one who set up and ran the event. He did a great job organizing the game, hanging up posters all over campus and sending out an online invitation via Facebook.
Again it was a sight to see, whether it was Langston hanging at center court, so he would get a head start, Hamlet throwing the ball down to Langston only to have the Spokebenders catch up to him, or watching Lauren Allen, of the women’s basketball team, air ball a foul shot.
From a fan’s perspective this was a great event to witness. It was one of the few events in my four years that Southern has put on that I have thoroughly enjoyed. There was a decent crowd, but I wish there could have been a bigger one. This was a can’t-miss event.
I really hope that this isn’t the last time Southern puts together an event like this. Like I said before this was the best event I have gone to in my four years at Southern. This is the kind of events that Southern needs to do more of. No more of these random dances in the ballroom that no one goes to.
Do more events that people can get involved in and have a good time. That, my friends, is what the people really want.