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Rochester Hills

November 13, 2013

Amputee basketball game raises funds for charity

By Sherri Kolade
C & G Staff Writer

ROCHESTER HILLS — The all-American sport of basketball had a little something extra to showcase Nov. 7 during an amputee stand-up basketball game that raised funds for charities.

The Wright & Filippis AmpuTeam Spartans squared off against the Crittenton Hospital All Stars at the annual W&F amputee stand-up basketball game at Lutheran High School Northwest, 1000 Bagley Drive.

Bradley Shebib, certified prosthetist for Wright & Filippis and AmpuTeam coach, said that his team won with a final score of 57-34.

“There is not really one highlight, just the fact that these guys looked that good against Crittenton,” he said of his roughly eight-member team. “The highlight was how good they looked, how much fun they had, and the crowd was energized and into it.”

Every year, the Wright & Filippis AmpuTeam challenges a local hospital team to a stand-up basketball game for charity, according to a press release. Patients show how they have overcome their amputations using modern prosthetics and perseverance.

The Spartans and All Stars are among the few organized amputee teams in the country that play stand-up basketball.

Game proceeds benefitted the Filippis Foundation and Crittenton Hospital Charities.

Shebib said the stand-up basketball program, based in Rochester Hills, originated from a group of people who wore prosthetics while exercising.

“We were looking for a reason some years ago to get together with some players who wore prosthetics just to work out to exercise, and somebody decided they thought basketball would be fun,” he said. “They found a court where a bunch of us could get together and play. We noticed these guys were good enough on their legs to play, so it kind of morphed from there.”

Over the past seven years, the team has played roughly 10 games and is hungry for more.

“It is a reason to kind of showcase these guys and raise a little money,” Shebib said. “We don’t raise a ton of it, but every little bit counts. But more than anything, it is a reason to get these guys out there — showcase their abilities. I’m looking forward to promoting more of them as we play in the future.”

Myles Davis, 25, of Detroit, played for the AmpuTeam Nov. 7 and is a little closer to his life’s goal with each dribble of the basketball.

As a left-leg amputee for the past 10 years because of primary bone cancer of the tibia, Davis wants to form a basketball league for amputees.

“That is my ultimate goal,” he said.

He said that the game was amazing.

“I can’t elaborate on that,” he said. “We worked as a team to get the job done. (We) put in the effort. The game was phenomenal; (the other team) did not take it easy on us. That is how we want it.”

Davis has been a part of the team on and off for the past several years; he joined the team in the summer of 2005 after a friend told him about it.

“In 2005, I started playing ball, and (Shebib) wanted me on the team ever since,” he said.

Davis, who wears a prosthetic on his left leg, said he is in the first quarter of his life.

“People don’t just want to sit home and do nothing,” he said. “Your life is not over because you have a missing limb.”

For more information, visit www.amputeam.com/.