Established in 2015, Corpus Christi Rimz, a local adaptive sports league, founded by Eric Shandy, Carlos Cavazos and Moses Reyes, has a vision to inspire differently-abled individuals to feel empowered by team sports.
“As a team, we like to use the term ‘handi-capable’ to prove to others that we are capable of achieving what we set our minds to,” said Shandy, who also plays on the team. “People may be under the impression that wheelchair basketball [means we’re] slow or lethargic, but that is far from the narrative.”An official team within the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, CC Rimz is one of the 225-plus teams across the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The NWBA is organized by divisions including mens, womens, high performance, collegiate, junior, prep and divisions I, II and III. CC Rimz is a part of Division III, and its season lasts from mid-September to late-March, with a national divisional championship tournament in early April. The CC Rimz made back-to-back appearances at the national tournament level the last two seasons, and are hoping to make it a three-peat as the current season’s end nears.
As for the game itself, the rules are fairly similar to the type of basketball most are familiar with. “Wheelchair basketball is very hard-hitting and action-packed with similarities to ‘able-bodied basketball,’” Shandy said.
The basketball hoops are 10-feet high and traveling rules consist of players being allowed just two wheel pushes before a dribble, similar to the two-step-per dribble rule. A couple of differences include a 30-second shot clock as opposed to 24 seconds and five personal fouls instead of six.
While the physical activity aspect of the team certainly aids in the overall well-being of its players, the ability to find camaraderie with one another and build self-confidence is just as important. CC Rimz players gain a level of independence and assuredness that translates both on and off the court and inspires the next generation of teammates.
“Knowing that in your backyard there is a group of men and women inspiring others in the only way they know how – that is what makes CC Rimz so great,” Shandy said, when speaking to the importance of access to adaptive sports in a community. “When we get recognized by the same youth we strive to inspire, it makes us feel accomplished and that we’re doing something good for our community.”
As a NWBA team, the CC Rimz is required to host a home tournament. This season’s tournament, Bayfront Classic, will take place on Dec. 9-10 at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Participating teams will travel from Houston, San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Arizona, Arkansas and Nevada.
“Our goal [with the tournament] is to show our community that wheelchair basketball is a real thing,” Shandy said. “We want our [local] community to come out and show continued support not only for our home team but for wheelchair basketball as a whole.”
Contact: nwba.org | 361-737-1326