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Alabama builds $10M arena for Adapted Athletics

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abc3340.com
 

Alabama builds $10M arena for Adapted Athletics

Stoney Sharp

Five national championships in basketball, and two national championships in tennis. Now, the Alabama Adapted Athletics teams will have their very own game and practice venue at the University of Alabama.

UA broke ground on a $10 million facility Thursday afternoon. It will be the first collegiate sports building in the nation solely for disabled athletes.

"It's putting us on an equal playing field with varsity collegiate athletes and it's giving us our own training facility," said Alabama men's wheelchair basketball player Lindy Bridges.

The two-story facility will include a NCAA regulation game venue for wheelchair basketball, locker rooms, workout/training room, strength and conditioning room, team meeting rooms and study halls.

"They will have locker rooms, they can shower, they can workout, they can do their studying. All in the same location. Just like every other sports program on campus. I think that's really big for the mental battle these student athletes face every day," said Ford Burttram, Alabama men's wheelchair basketball head coach.

The new arena will be located along the south facade of the UA Rec Center. Construction is scheduled to finish in late Fall 2017.

UA's Adapted Athletics Program began in 2003 with women's wheelchair basketball. The program has since grown to include 30 student athletes in women's basketball, men's basketball, wheelchair tennis, para-rowing and adapted golf.

You can watch the basketball team in action on TV and online Saturday. We will broadcast their game against Illinois on our sister station CW21 at 5:30 p.m. Saturday night. We will also stream the game live right here online at ABC3340.com .

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41 minutes ago, aubearcat said:

5 national championships in basketball ? :dunno:

Wheelchair basketball. 

This is pretty cool, actually. Good for Alabama for developing those programs. 

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10 hours ago, Barnacle said:

Wheelchair basketball. 

This is pretty cool, actually. Good for Alabama for developing those programs. 

I'm sorry, I didn't read past the first little bit. 

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I know a guy who's kid plays wheelchair bball and it means a whole lot to his family.  I'm glad the colleges are supporting it ... might give certain kids something extracurricular and sports related to strive in and compete at.

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Good on UAT for not only recognizing the need for such a facility, but putting $$ behind it in a big way.  Props to 'em.

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The hater in me sees this as a $10 mil smokescreen to cover up all of the bad that comes from their athletics, but I can't help but appreciate it, smokescreen or not. Even the worst of us deserve credit when we do good, and in this case, bama done good.

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Auburn has a wheelchair basketball program as well.  They practice in the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum and have hosted tournaments there.  Not quite the investment bama is putting in it with a $10 dedicated facility, so they do deserve the props.

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8 minutes ago, keesler said:

I'm of the opinion that these sports programs need more exposure and media attention.

Agreed... as long as it's not exploitative.  As big as it is, these days, I'm actually surprised that wheelchair basketball hasn't taken a shot at developing a pro league.

Of course, then I take 2 seconds for a Google search and find that they plan to launch one in 2017... http://pwblenterprises.com/

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