Wheelchair Basketball = Fun For All
Hi! I’m Sarah Lewis, and I’d like to tell you a little something about the River City Rollers of South Bend, Indiana.
We were founded in 1975, and most Wednesday nights (unless otherwise noted on our Facebook page) the River City Rollers come together at 7 p.m. to have two or three scrimmage games and occasionally play against other community organizations or other wheelchair basketball teams.
We are constantly striving to reach new members of both the disabled and able-bodied community to come out and get in a chair and see how much fun it can be. Please join us!
We’re recreational so we don’t have a “roster” per say, but inquiries on coming to practices, participating, and volunteering can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The team was founded in 1977 by Jim Milliken, a double amputee US Army veteran (Vietnam) who is a member of the SB Hall of Fame. He’s a national champion Paralympic swimmer, who swam for the US Paralympic team in Seoul.
James Milliken served in the U.S. Army with the 11th brigade in Vietnam and was awarded the Purple Heart. Although physically challenged, his athletic achievements are outstanding. He has won more than 500 gold medals, and numerous Silver and Bronze medals. Mr. Milliken is a national record holder in many swimming events. He founded the River City Rollers wheelchair basketball team in 1977 and was named Indiana Outstanding Disabled Veteran. In 1988 he represented America in the Paralympics in Seoul, Korea, and the World Games in the Netherlands. He received the Disabled American Veterans Freedom Award for skiing at the Winter Sports Program in 1999. Now a retired accountant, he remains active in sports competitions. (2002)
The team is also been supported by Dr. Feranmi Okanlami, who now oversees adaptive sports at the University of Michigan, but is still involved with the Rollers (and serves on the Board of River City Challenged Athletes). Stories on Feranmi here:
YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2ik22KdEnk