GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With basketball season under way, one West Michigan hospital is making sure anyone who uses a wheelchair has an opportunity to compete in that sport by hosting a tournament this weekend.
Mary Free Bed Hospital is hosting the Mary Free Bed Invitational, an adult wheelchair basketball tournament affiliated with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.
This is also the first time Mary Free Bed has a women’s team. Program organizers said high participation made forming one an easy decision.
“There’s something really empowering about having a women’s team. We have two girls come up from our junior varsity team, so they’re high schoolers. The youngest is 15, all the way up to a 60-year-old. We have quite an age range and we have people from other programs playing with us,” said Christy VanHaver with Mary Free Bed Hospital Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports.
Teams from at least four U.S. states and Canada are competing in the tournament. The winner will qualify for the national tournament, which will be in Kansas in April.