Walk a mile in his shoes…

Or in this case, wheel around a mile in his chair. Below is a great story of gaining appreciation for those in a different situation from oneself by adopting their situation, even for just a little while. Kudos to Jerry Stackhouse and the other players, both those familiar and unfamiliar with playing basketball from a seated position.

The full article can be found at http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1640924.html, with an excerpt provided below.


Stackhouse schooled in wheelchair hoops: NBA players, college stars gain an appreciation for athletes who know how to roll

DURHAM — It’s not often that NBA veteran Jerry Stackhouse gets outscored, out-assisted and just plain tired out.

Then again, it’s rare that he is trying to shoot, rebound and defend from a wheelchair.

But that’s just what the former Tar Heels All-American guard was attempting Sunday afternoon as part of the Greater North Carolina Pro-Am at N.C. Central.

Before the championship game of the summer league (when Team P.J. Tucker beat Team Navy 126-111), several college players and professionals — including former UNC players Jawad Williams and Donald Williams, as well as Hayward Fain of St. Augustine’s — borrowed some special wheels to play a good-natured exhibition against youth players from the Triangle Thunder and Charlotte Bobcats wheelchair teams.

The final score of the 25-minute blowout: Thunder/Bobcats 28, College/Pros 9.

“That might be one of the most grueling things I’ve ever done,” said Jawad Williams, who now plays for the Cleveland Cavaliers and was missing so many shots from the sitting position that at one point he popped out of his chair and ran to the hoop for a behind-the-back dunk (which didn’t count). “I have a newfound respect and appreciation for wheelchair athletes.”

And that was the point.

Bridge II Sports, a Durham-based non-profit organization that tries to create opportunities for physically-challenged people to participate in athletics, helped set up the exhibition for the second straight year as a way to show folks what wheelchair athletes are capable of. It recently received a $114,000 grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of North Carolina, and plans to use the money to further educate different groups state wide — including public schools, parks and recreation departments, the UNC university system and support groups — about its mission. (The article continues at http://www.newsobserver.com/sports/story/1640924.html)