• September 17, 2014

Hustlers finish third at Louisiana tournament

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Posted: Friday, February 21, 2014 4:30 am

Don’t let the wheelchairs fool you, the Harker Heights Hustlers got game.

The wheelchair basketball team placed third out of eight teams in the 26th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Wheelchair basketball tournament Feb. 7-9 in Louisiana.

The team is now gearing up to scrimmage members of Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Brigade on March 12 and to play in an Austin tournament March 15.

Coach Kent Robinson said the team’s usual league play is from August to April.

“To overcome the lapse, we are trying to branch out to compete in out-of-state matches,” Robinson said. “We are trying to get out there more and be more involved in the community.”

The Hustlers, which were formed in May 2010, offers those with physical disabilities a way to play and compete in a team atmosphere. They have competed in tournaments and leagues in-state and out-of-state.

Since all traveling expenses are paid for by the athletes, the team is looking for sponsors to help them elevate their game and make them more competitive, Robinson said.

Lori Briere, parks and recreation superintendent, said the team is striving to become a sanctioned member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

“We’re always looking for new members who have a passion for sports and want to be a part of a great team,” she said.

The Hustlers have nine players on the roster, but they’ll be losing two when they retire from the military and move out of the area.

“We want to create an 18-and-under team, a women’s team and of course add to our own roster,” Robinson said.

To raise money for tournaments, the team will host a 3-on-3 basketball tournament March 29-30 at Carl Levin Park in Harker Heights. Sign-up sheets are available at the Recreation Center. Winners in each bracket will receive trophies and medals.

The team practices from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays at the Recreation Center. For more information on the team, call 254-953-5657.

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