Swish! Wheelchair Basketball Takes the Court

Junior Joseph De Muyt, an economics major, plays wheelchair basketball at an event organized by UConn Recreation and Husky Adapted Sport Club, with support from the Ryan Martin Foundation, on Nov. 30. (Garrett Spahn '18 (CLAS)/UConn Photo)
Junior Joseph De Muyt, an economics major, plays wheelchair basketball at an event organized by UConn Recreation and Husky Adapted Sport Club, with support from the Ryan Martin Foundation, on Nov. 30. (Garrett Spahn '18 (CLAS)/UConn Photo)

UConn students met recently on the court for a basketball scrimmage during a wheelchair basketball clinic at Guyer Gymnasium to raise awareness for the Husky Adapted Sport Club.

The club was initiated this semester, a process that received support from local resident Ryan Martin, whose foundation works with youth and adult athletes with disabilities on sports training, mentoring, and education.

Martin, of Somers, Connecticut, was born with spina bifida and had both of his legs amputated at the age of two. He championed the launch of the Husky Adapted Sport Club at a meeting of the University’s Committee on Access and Accommodations.

“There is a great need and there are few programs,” says Martin, who also serves as a consultant for the NCAA on their Inclusive Sports Model. “I think this is something that, in time, could be a benchmark program.”

At the meeting, Martin noted the benefits that sports offer to young people, including those with disabilities, whether on the court, field, or in the pool.

He himself has a particular interest in basketball. Discovering the sport at the age of 12 transformed his world from “wheelchair bound” to bound for college, for professional basketball, and for traveling overseas, according to the Ryan Martin Foundation website.

“This is a wonderful opportunity for the campus,” said Donna Korbel, director of UConn’s Center for Students with Disabilities.