RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Now in its 10th year, the NYC Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will take place this weekend, from Friday, Oct. 8, through Sunday, Oct. 10, at Manhattan College and Horace Mann High School in Riverdale, N.Y. Free to the public, the tournament brings together ten of the U.S. and Canada's best wheelchair basketball teams to compete for the prestigious NYC Mayor's Cup. On the evening of Friday, Oct. 8, Commissioner Matthew Sapolin will be presented with the NYC Mayor's Cup Community Service Award. Over the course of three days, 150 athletes will contend in a series of games to ultimately advance to the finals on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 10:30am.
"The NYC Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament has grown into one of the largest events of its kind in the Northeast," NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta said. "This year, we welcome some of the most talented teams from around the country and Canada to compete for the prestigious Mayor's Cup title. This inspirational event brings together an incredible group of athletes who demonstrate the best that the human spirit has to offer; their character, leadership and skill are to be admired by us all."
The New York metropolitan area will be represented by several clubs, including the Bulova Nets (Bronx), the New York Nets (NJ, Queens), the New York Rollin' Knicks (Manhattan, Brooklyn) and the Nassau County Kings (Long Island). The Connecticut Spokebenders, the Bay State Clippers (MA), the New England Blazers (MA), the NEPVA Celtics (MA), the Rochester Wheels (NY) and an elite junior all-star team from Canada will fill out the bracket.
Wheelchair basketball is played on a regulation basketball court. Players may push their wheelchairs only twice before dribbling or passing. The height of the basket is the standard 10 feet used in both college and professional basketball. Athletes use wheelchairs specially designed for speed and maneuverability.
The tournament begins Friday, Oct. 8, with games starting at 5pm and 6:30pm at Manhattan College's Draddy Gymnasium. On Saturday, Oct. 10, games will be held from 8:30am to 7pm at Draddy Gym and from 10am until 1pm at Horace Mann High School. The event will conclude at Manhattan College on Sunday, Oct. 11, with the semifinals at 9am, followed by the Championship Game at 10:30am. The awards ceremony will follow the conclusion of the game. All spectators will be eligible to receive free gift cards courtesy of Modell's Sporting Goods.
"The City of New York is committed to providing greater opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in competitive sports programs," Commissioner Sapolin remarked. "Building on the tough competition and sportsmanship displayed at last year's Mayor's Cup, this year's tournament will undoubtedly provide even more fierce basketball as these teams battle each other for the prestigious Cup."
Commissioner Sapolin will be presented with the NYC Mayor's Cup Community Service Award on Friday evening for his involvement in making the NYC Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament a success and for his many other accomplishments in addressing the needs of people with disabilities. Sapolin was appointed to serve as Executive Director of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2002 and was named Commissioner in 2006.
The NYC Mayor's Cup series encompasses a variety of sports throughout the year, including track and field, cross-country running, lacrosse, baseball, cycling, soccer, kayaking, wrestling, rugby, chess and table tennis. The new NYC Mayor's Cup series was created by NYC & Company's Sports Marketing division, which was formed in Dec. 2008 as a result of the New York City Sports Commission's integration under the NYC & Company umbrella. This integration has allowed the group to enhance the level of support provided to the local communities and to create original sporting events across the City's five boroughs.
For a complete tournament schedule, as well as additional information regarding the event, please visit nycgo.com/mayorscupwheelchairbasketball.
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