Amputee basketball event a slam dunk

AMP1 players showed off their skills and had a blast with the YC gang. Photo by Youth Challenge

AMP1, a team of stand-up (non-wheelchair) amputee basketball players, came to town and created a lasting impression on everyone who saw them play. “Nothin but Net! Hoopin it up For Disability Awareness” was an all-day event on April 24 that showcased the team members’ athletic abilities, determination and positive attitudes.

This was the team’s first appearance in the Cleveland area, and was coordinated by Leimkuehler Inc., a Cleveland-headquartered prosthetic and orthotic provider, and Youth Challenge, a sports and recreation organization designed for children with physical disabilities. 

The day started with a practice at Baldwin Wallace University, a demonstration at an assembly at St. Angela Merici School in Fairview Park, followed by a clinic with the Youth Challenge kids in Westlake, then back to Berea for the final game.

The game and main event at BW featured AMP1 All-Stars versus the BW All-Stars (graduating senior men’s and women’s basketball players and student managers). The final score was BW 83, AMP1 71.

Between the first and second quarters, The Achievement Center for Children’s Junior Wheelchair Cavs Basketball Team, just back from playing at the World Championships, played the BW Greeks in a 4-minute exhibition game.

At halftime, The School of Dancing Wheels performed and the YC kids demonstrated their unique brand of adaptive wheelchair basketball.

With the help of high-tech prosthetics, the AMP1 team has overcome lower limb amputations (due to traumatic accidents, birth defects and cancer) to go on and play able-bodied, non-amputee teams – and often win! AMP1 launched its first national tour in 2011, with stops in cities across the country, sold out games and a growing fan base. 

AMP1 players all wear the Renegade prosthetic foot, designed by Freedom Innovations in California, especially for highly active amputees. It features carbon-fiber technology, which stores and returns energy and provides the shock absorption that is critical for high impact activities such as basketball. One of the players also utilizes the company's prosthetic knee, which combines microprocessor and hydraulic technologies to facilitate the responsive movements and stability required in the sport.

Thanks to donations at the game, more than $1,600 was raised to benefit Youth Challenge.

Kathy Rigdon

is the Media Specialist for Youth Challenge in Westlake.

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Volume 5, Issue 9, Posted 10:27 AM, 04.30.2013