Young athletes compete in GR wheelchair basketball tourney

Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Dozens of young athletes are competing on the court this weekend in the 20th annual “Keep up the Pace” junior wheelchair basketball tournament in Grand Rapids.

The competition – which is hosted by the Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers – brings together teams from Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. Boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 18 make up the rosters.

24 Hour News 8 spoke with Coleton Butterworth, a Hudsonville teen who plays point guard for the Junior Pacers.

He said the sport has helped him connect with others. 

“As a kid, I never really thought there were that many kids with that many disabilities,” Butterworth explained. “But now I see I can play with this many more people. And I meet new people every day. And I can see that I’m just a normal kid trying to do a normal sport like anyone else.”

The tournament is being held at the Mary Free Bed YMCA on Burton Street in Grand Rapids.

It continues Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. 

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