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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Fans can get into Wheelchair Tournament act

Sunday, January 23, 2011

(Photo)
Bell Buckle Mayor Dennis Webb participated in last year's exhibition wheelchair game basketball game.
(Submitted photo)
The Rollin' Round Robin Classic Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, sponsored by Heritage Medical Center and the Bell Buckle Parks and Recreation Department, hits the boards in the Webb School gym next Friday and Saturday, but the five teams of wheelchair athletes won't be the only ones shooting the hoops.

"We're going to have two different kind of Shoot the Hoop competitions this year," said organizer and Bell Buckle First Lady Carla Webb. "There will be the regular one, where the ticket holders can win $1,000, and there will be one for the children."

Five lucky ticket holders will be called to the floor when their numbers are drawn around 5:30 Saturday afternoon. They'll get two minutes to coach their "Dream Team," who will then shoot baskets for two minutes. The ticket holder who has the most points made for him or her will win the $1,000 jackpot.

"The Dream team will have one player from each of the teams," said Webb. "Everyone will have the same players, the same dream team."

Competing in the tournament this year are the University of Alabama men and women, the Shepherd Center teams and the Nashville Music City Lightning.

The Parks and Rec board is also giving $1,000 to the teams, $200 each. Last year, the $1,000 prize was split, with half of the money going to the Parks and Rec department as a fund raiser for the new park basketball court. This year, the winner takes all, and the proceeds of the event will go to the Parks and Rec department.

Tickets for the Shoot the Hoops drawing are $1 each, but you can buy a "free-throw" length -- 30 tickets -- for only $20.

"That's what I'm really encouraging," said Webb. "Last year, the Shoot the Hoops winner bought a free-throw length. It was a Webb student and he gave some of his winnings back to the park, too."

The same tickets will be drawn all day for door prizes, including Bell Buckle gift baskets valued at more than $100 each. Once drawn, the tickets will be put back in the drawing for the Shoot the Hoops contest.

The free throw contest for the children will be a little different. Beginning at 2:30 p.m., they'll have to shoot their own free throws, with no Dream Team assistance. There two divisions, one for children in wheelchairs and one for children who are not. Within each divison, there will be age brackets, ages 5-8, 9-11, 12-14 and 15-16.

"We'll have a shorter goal for the younger ones," said Webb. "We encourage anyone who knows of a child 5-16 to bring them down."

All those in wheelchairs are admitted free to the event.

There will also be trophies and ribbons for the winners.

The event promises a lot of activity for little money, said Webb. The games being held in the Webb gym Friday night are free, and tickets for Saturday's event, which starts at 8 a.m., are only $5 each. Anyone who has a coupon from the special tab published by the Times-Gazette can buy one ticket and get one free.

The tab also offers a coupon for a free Krispy Kreme donut with the purchase of a meal. Bell Buckle Cafe is supplying plate lunches with a

choice of barbecue or pulled chicken, as well as three side dishes and a roll -- all for only $5. Other concessions will be available throughout the day, from the donuts to Italian ice.

"We want people to come hungry," she said.

Exhibition game

Besides the young Shoot the Hoop contestants and the regular players, others will be trying their hand at roundball Saturday. Local coaches, elected officials and maybe even audience members will find themselves in wheelchairs, trying to compete against players from the five teams.

Last year, the amateurs were getting trounced so badly, the opposition took pity and only made them face off against one player, Webb's nephew, Jared Arambula.

They still lost, just not as badly.

"The exhibition game is hilarious!" said Webb. "There will be local characters and dignitaries like Jim Tracy and Pat Marsh playing."

Last year, her husband, Mayor Dennis Webb, was told he had to be the water boy because he had a hard time following the wheelchair rules, but ended up playing after all.

"They were so exhausted, they had to put the water boy in," said Webb, laughing.

"They even got people out of the audience -- and that was against one player! I think this year, the mayor will be a towel boy. It's a lateral move. I think."

One of the celebrity players in the exhibition game will be Kristin Osborn, one of the sisters who make up the country music group SHeDaisy. The band will perform one song around noon, and local musician Kyle Kraft will also perform.

The Cascade varsity cheerleaders will be on hand, giving a performance at 2:30, then cheering on the teams in the final game.

Dave Cummings, who is raising funds and awareness for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund through his Hoops for Heroes campaign to shoot a million free throw shorts will also be there, attempting to sink at least 5,000 baskets. He and other groups, such as Heritage Medical Center, will have information booths available.

For more information about the Rollin' Round Robin, go to www.bellbucklepark.info.



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