Missouri wheelchair basketball players find happiness on court

Saturday, February 9, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 3:37 p.m. CST, Saturday, February 9, 2013
The MU wheelchair basketball team practices at Brewer Fieldhouse.

COLUMBIA — Alex Ashton, Ethan Linsky and Taylor Moore and ended up in wheelchairs for different reasons, but they all can't imagine life without playing basketball.

"It's pure adrenaline when I go out there and play," Ashton said. "There is no way I can be happier than when I'm playing the game of basketball."

Ashton, Linsky and Moore are MU students who have played for Missouri's wheelchair basketball team.

Wheelchair basketball is played with a standard basketball and on a regulation court, but the nature of the sport requires slight rule changes, namely with regards to dribbling, Moore said. According to the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, players must bounce the ball after every two pushes of the chair or they can dribble as they push.

However, the biggest differences between wheelchair basketball and basketball comes down to strategy.

"It's a rougher sport than actual basketball because it's all about chair positioning since we take up so much more space on the court," Linsky said. "It's all about really trusting that your teammate has your back and get your teammate's back so you don't get out of position."

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