MU Wheelchair Basketball Plays First Season

1 decade 7 months 1 week ago February 16, 2006 Feb 16, 2006 Thursday, February 16 2006 Thursday, February 16, 2006 7:39:22 PM CST in Tiger Talk

In its first season, MU's wheelchair team is 4-16. And, with only five players on the team, they all play ironman basketball: 40 minutes straight, with no substitutions.

The Tigers have come up short in most of their games, but a losing record won't keep them down. Leadership falls to the most senior teammate, Steve Hathaway, who at 36 is two years older than the coach.

Forward Garret French said, "We call him 'Gramps' a lot. He doesn't like that, needless to say."

Hathaway was in the Air Force during the first Persian Gulf War. But, a 2001 motorcycle crash paralyzed him from the waist down. So, he went back to school to remake himself.

"I've always loved basketball," he explained. "I've played basketball since I was big enough to dribble a basketball. I played all through school, was in the military and played in the military, and have just been playing it ever since. And I've just got a love for the game."

Even if they get down, teammates know "Gramps" will push them along.

Hathaway's high school coach, Gary Amos, said, "He'll play right down to the end, and he'll never give up. Even whenever it [life] knocks you back a step or two, why he'll get up and go again."

Hathaway is majoring in psychology. He has three years of eligibility left on the court.

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