Paralympic Aspirations for Local Wheelchair Basketball Players - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Paralympic Aspirations for Local Wheelchair Basketball Players

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The Edinboro men's wheelchair basketball team has been keeping up with the Paralympics in Sochi.

The dream for some players on the squad is to one day qualify for the games.

Derek Strickland has played basketball since he was 5-years-old.  When he was 23, he had an accident that cost him his left foot.

"When I was playing able-bodied basketball, I always wanted to play college ball, those were my goals," said Strickland.  "Then after the accident, I found out I was able to play wheelchair basketball and through that, I started getting recruited," he said.

Many guys on the team aren't from the area.  John Herndon is from Detroit and got recruited in Cleveland.

"I had always loved basketball and once I realized how far I could go with wheelchair basketball, that it was a college sport and that there was a pro-league overseas, I started looking at my options," said Herndon.

Their love for the game landed the guys at Edinboro  University.  Edinboro's men's and women's basketball programs are amongst the top in the nation.

Seeing coverage of recent wheelchair tournaments on ESPN and even coverage of paralympic sports in Sochi has motivated the guys to one day play at a higher level.

"I want to be on the  USA Team one day," said Herndon.  "I'd like to play overseas one day as well."

"My goal is also to play for Team USA and to play overseas," said Strickland.  "Past that, I want to stay involved in the sport for as long as I can.  If I could coach, that would be ideal."

The Edinboro men's wheelchair basketball team made it to National's, however the season ended for them last week.  For now, the guys still continue to train hard.

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