Former athletes, media to participate in charity game

By Aimee Vargas

For the Deseret News

Published: Friday, April 13 2012 7:23 a.m. MDT

Former NBA players, the Jazz Bear, media representatives and others will participate in the fourth annual Neuroworx Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball game on Friday, April 20, at 7 p.m. at Jordan High School.

Members of this year's celebrity team include the Utah Jazz Bear, NuSkin Jazz Dancers, KSL sports MC Rod Zundel, Jazz announcer Dan Roberts, Shawn Bradley, Senator Curt Bramble, Hans Olsen, Andy Toolson and Chad Lewis.

Tickets will be available at the door and cost $25 per family or $5 for individuals.

"The celebrity game is an opportunity for the Wheelin' Jazz to show their skills and bring awareness of what sports can do for people with physical disabilities," said Marilyn Blakley, coach of the junior team. "The celebrity game is also a way for us to generate funds to keep the program going."

Neuroworx, a non-profit organization, provides therapy and rehabilitative services for individuals dealing with paralysis secondary to spinal cord injuries and similar neurological conditions. Supporting adaptive sports is a natural extension of the Neuroworx mission to improve the rehabilitation, overall health and quality of life for individuals with these injuries.

The DIII team is ranked 20th in the nation, Junior Wheelin' Jazz is sixth and the Championship Division is 10th. The teams are part of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

A parent of an adult player said, "Wheelchair basketball has been better than any psychological therapy my son could have, because it helps him to feel normal and alive."

Aimee Vargas is a senior at Maple Mountain High School.

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