Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

By: Keith Jones Email
By: Keith Jones Email

Athletes from all over the Valley came out to Harrisonburg Saturday night for a basketball invitational, but it wasn't your everyday tournament. After several games, the Shenandoah Valley High Rollers were undefeated and took first place. However, they say that winning isn't that important; they just enjoy playing as a team.

"It's the closest thing to feeling like I'm walking again," says Anthony Streiff, who ran track at Eastern Mennonite University and was a three sport athlete at Fort Defiance High School.

For Streiff, all that came to a screeching halt after a devastating fall.

"I was 24 years old and thought I was 5'9" and bulletproof and I found out I wasn't," says Streiff.

After falling more than 25 feet from a tree, he now needs a wheelchair. He says he was frustrated beyond belief until he met Tim Moubray.

"I have no ACL, no cartilage, and arthritis, so that's fairly permanent. So I'm a class 3 player," says Moubray.

Unlike the rest of his teammates, Moubray can stand and walk, but that didn't stop him from starting a wheelchair basketball team. Strieff joined soon after it began, along with several others from Wilson Memorial Rehabilitation Center. They say the games aren't just fun, they're therapeutic.

"I love competition. I love competing, and when I'm out here, I forget I'm injured," says Strieff.

The team plays about 25 games a season all along the East Coast. They say winning does matter, though it doesn't compare to being with each other.

"A lot of them have been on chairs for 15 or 20 years. They are a wealth of knowledge to the newly injured folks and they're mentors and like big brothers, always a big family," says Moubray.

"We all know each other and when the game is over, we know there's a common bond and hey we're all injured, and it's kind of like a fraternity. We all stick together," says Streiff.

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