MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WTVF) — After a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Music City Madness Wheelchair Basketball Tournament returned for a weekend of competition.
Teams from all over the country made their way to Murfreesboro for the tournament, which began Saturday and lasted through Sunday.
Athletes from several states, including Texas and Indiana, gave it their all during the tournament, hosted at MTSU's Campus Recreation Building.
Amy Saffell, the executive director of ABLE Youth, said the event gives children with disabilities a chance to play basketball at a high level.
"A lot of times, these kids, when they were either born or when they were diagnosed, a lot of their families or they themselves probably never thought this kind of thing was possible for them," she said.
Saffell comments that the tournament means so much for athletes and their families.
"They get to compete just like every other kid and compete hard for the championship. But also, it's special, because they get to see kids just like them and form friendships that tend to last a lifetime, because they get it, who look just like them and do life like them and so it's really great for them."
Zion Redington plays with Music City Thunder and said this tournament was meant a lot to him, because he had the opportunity to reconnect with friends he hadn't seen in a while.
"To be able to do this tournament was just so surreal because it was a long while since we played at home and it was fun to be a home," Redington said.
To get ready for the competition, Redington says he practices every Saturday as well as in his free time.
ABLE Youth said it's always looking for more wheelchair athletes to participate in a variety of sports teams.