Before the Harlem Globetrotters game in Des Moines on Sunday, a group of Iowa athletes will take the court for a fast-paced game of basketball. There will be no running, but plenty of rolling. Jack Eherenman is co-director of the Iowa Chairiots.
Eherenman says they’re a wheelchair basketball team made up mostly of people who range from their teens to their 50s. He says the independent non-profit group has been around since 1947. The team offers athletes who can’t fully participate in conventional basketball the opportunity to play the sport they love. He says members come from all over the state to take part in the practices and games.
Eherenman says that could include spinal cord injuries, people born with a birth defect, an amputee due to cancer or an accident, and they’ve been seeking out veterans who’ve come home from war and want to continue on with being active in sports. Eherenman, of Waterloo, got involved with the Chairiots as his son is among the players. He says it’s a fun game to play — and to watch.
He says their chairs are built for basketball — they’re fast and they turn on a dime, and it’s exciting to see with as much up-and-down the court as any basketball game. The team’s motto is: "Just because we have to sit down, doesn’t mean we have to sit still." The Chairiots game is at 1 P.M. Sunday at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. The Globetrotters play at 2. See the Iowa Events Center website for details at: www.iowaeventscenter.com.