Miami Heat Wheels is a competitive wheelchair basketball organization based in Miami Springs, FL (a Miami community). Since 1991, the Miami Heat Wheels non-profit program has provided avenues for disabled athletes to achieve their highest potential. The program’s mission is to provide individuals with physical disabilities great opportunities to learn and develop the skills to play wheelchair basketball and participate in competitive league play.
The program currently has a nationally ranked Division III team that competes in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA). Finishing #1 in the Florida Conference and #8 at the national level, the team has a new sense of determination. This season, fans can look forward to faster gameplay, stronger teamwork and an elevated presence in the community. The team is also the focus of a documentary in the making titled, “Rebound”. Preview their story below:
The team is supported by fundraising efforts and events such as car washes, and generous donations from the community, and in-part by the Miami Heat and the Leisure Access Foundation.
While basketball may seem like a secondary part of life, losing the full ability to use one’s lower body can and has caused depression, alcoholism, illegal drug dependency, poverty, homelessness, and suicide. The Heat Wheels program does not just give people hope; it gives participants direction. Two Heat Wheels players recently received full college scholarships thanks to their participation in organized wheelchair basketball.
In addition to enhancing the lives of the participants, this adaptive sports organization and its athletes are able to shatter stereotypes of people with disabilities. Through their play and dedication to the community, the Heat Wheelsstrive to educate, motivate and inspire all walks of life, proving that there is life beyond injury made possible by adaptive sports.
Dedication, practice and teamwork make champions.