Inside the Stran-Hardin arena at UA with the women’s wheelchair basketball team

UA wheelchair basketball team wins
Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 8:56 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - A different kind of March Madness took place over the weekend on the University of Alabama campus in Tuscaloosa.

The UA women’s wheelchair basketball team won yet another title. The team is an integral part of the university’s Adapted Athletics program.

Dr. Margaret Stran is the Associate Director for the Adapted Athletics program.

We know we’re after something bigger and something better,” Stran said.

That something ‘better’ they wanted was another championship for the women’s wheelchair basketball team, a program that got its start 20 years ago.

“This will be our fourth in a row which we’ve never done before. We did have three in a row but fell short,” Stran explained before the big game.

UA women's wheelchair basketball

For much of Thursday afternoon, the players posed for team photos and practiced with gusto, not even considering their physical limitations. They’re athletes first.

Players like Loeiza Vari Le Roux, who had an accident when he was 15 years old that left him in a wheelchair, don’t spend time worrying about what they can’t do. With this team, basketball is their passion and it shows.

Friday night, the team dismissed the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater by more than 30 points. On Saturday, they defeated the University of Texas of Arlington, 88 to 41.

Another title, another mid-court celebration. The Tide rolled in a very big way.

“They played so well, had so much clicking and working together. I haven’t seen a team play this well and they played strong all year. They just...I felt like they couldn’t even miss yesterday,” said Stran.

The fourth title in a row, 9 overall since the program’s inception. Another championship banner for the wall.

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