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Media Contact: Tom Grant

Published on October 14, 2009

Adventist Knights Celebrate 5th Anniversary of Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital hosts event at Maryland Soccerplex

Rockville, Md. - For the 5th year in a row, wheelchair basketball teams from across the nation will show off their athletic skills at the annual Adventist Knights Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in Boyds, Md. The tournament kicks off the beginning of the 2009-2010 National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) season for the Washington, D.C. region.

Nine teams from across the U.S. are expected to compete in the two-day tournament scheduled for Oct. 17 and 18 at the Maryland Soccerplex near Germantown, Md. The tournament, which is free and open to the public, is hosted by Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland in Rockville, part of Adventist HealthCare. Other sponsors include the Spinal Cord Injury Network (SCI).

"We forget that a spinal cord injury or other physical impairment does not destroy a person's need to dream, hope, work hard and play hard," said Dr. Terrence Sheehan, medical director for Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland. "These players demonstrate this and the resilience of the human spirit on the court by 'just doing it'."

The acute rehabilitation hospital organizes the tournament and sponsors the Adventist Knights team, which began when a group of local athletes wanted to form an independent wheelchair basketball team to play competitively. The group is led by Rab Currie, who is the coach and also a player for the Knights. This year the team features players with spinal cord injuries, as well as amputees.

Mary Kate Madden, a certified therapeutic recreational therapist for Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland, is the team manager for the Adventist Knights. Besides competing nationally, the team also promotes disability awareness throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. In return for the hospital's support, some of the players speak to current patients and local schools about adaptive sports and disability awareness.

"Wheelchair basketball has allowed members of our community and former patients to return to a healthy and active lifestyle. Many of our players may not have had the opportunity to play a competitive sport if it wasn't for
the support of the hospital," Madden said. "It is very rewarding to see how one's quality of life is improved through wheelchair basketball."

The wheelchair basketball tournament is one aspect of Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital's "Community Re-entry Program," which includes development of vocational skills and adaptability to leisure activities and sports. The funds raised through the tournament's sponsorships helps Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital maintain its outstanding patient services, the latest advancements in technology and equipment, education opportunities for hospital staff, and to support Adventist HealthCare's mission as a faith-based organization.

WHAT: Adventist Knights 5th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
WHEN: Saturday, October 17, first game starts at 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: Discovery Sports Center at the Maryland Soccerplex
18031 Central Park Circle, Boyds, Md. 20874

Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland is the first and only acute rehabilitation hospital in Montgomery County. It offers comprehensive rehabilitation programs for traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, strokes, amputations, orthopedic injuries and surgeries, sports related injuries, work-related injuries, cardiopulmonary conditions and neurological disorders. Our Mission is to provide comprehensive physical medicine, rehabilitation programs and services to the community, aimed at restoring or improving the health and quality of life for individuals with functional limitations or potential disabilities through a ministry of physical, mental and spiritual healing.

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