Playing for Their Country, and to Prove a Point - Local news, weather, sports Savannah | WSAV On Your Side

Playing for Their Country, and to Prove a Point

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HUNTER ARMY AIRFIELD - They are some of the nation's best, hitting the court right here in Savannah.

These athletes are not only competing for a spot on the national team but to prove a point with every basket.

"Its a challenge. We want to be the best and represent the USA the best we can."

The challenge for these athletes, scoring points with the coach and making the U.S. National Team.

"Its the ultimate pride, it's the top level you can achieve in the sport."

This sport is wheelchair basketball.

But don't tell these guys their wheels mean they are "handicapped".

"I've had people all my life say he is going to be good at chess or he is going to be good at only half the things he used to be able to do," explains John Gilbert, U.S. National Team player. "I'm out to prove all of them wrong."

These athletes prefer to call it "able bodied basketball". Same rules, same basket, same goal - to score - and win.

"I never thought that wheelchair basketball would repay me in this way, but its really given me everything," said Chris Kommer.

Chris Kommer is giving back. He doesn't just play the game, he is now designing the chairs these players use in every game.

"Every chair is custom per individual," explained Kommer. "Whatever is their disability or their role they're specifically designed to play on the court."

Playing is fun but it's a job too. Working every day to refine the skills they need to be the top of their game, and the best in the world.

"Definitely my goal not only for here but everywhere I go. To show you don't have to give up," explained Gilbert.

There's no give in these guys who hit shots, and get hit on the court. Training camp this day at Hunter Army Airfield gives them another purpose. To show wounded warriors and anyone else that their injury doesn't mean they have to sit it out.

"Its important for every one of us in the gym to do the best we can to represent this sport in a positive manner," said Kommer. "The next young kid sitting on the sideline of the gym we are practicing and playing in. That is inspiring to be at the level we are at."

Savannah's Hunter Army Airfield was chosen for this training camp because several of the team's staffers are from the area.
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