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Brain & Spine Center and Toros Team Up for Wheelchair Basketball Exhibition

February 25, 2009 - NBA G League (G League)
Austin Spurs News Release


Austin, TX-February 25, 2009-The Brain and Spine Center, a member of the Seton Family of Hospitals, and the Austin Toros will host a first-of-its-kind wheelchair exhibition on Thursday, February 26th at 7:00pm at the Austin Convention Center. Members of the Austin River City Rec'ers will showcase their basketball skills immediately before the Austin Toros vs. Albuquerque Thunderbirds game.

"The Toros are excited to partner with the Brain and Spine Center to showcase the local talent of the Austin River City Rec'ers," explains Peter Lubell, Chief Operating Officer of the Austin Toros. "We take pride in being good community partners on and off the court and look forward to the exhibition this Thursday."

Members of the Rec'ers have a wide range of disabilities from amputations to spinal cord injuries. The team was formed in the early eighties and they compete in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) against over 300 teams across the country. The Austin Rec'ers have been to the "Big Dance" or Final Four twice in the past and are traveling to Denver in March to compete for the 2009 NWBA National Championship.

"The chance to play at a Toros game is a huge opportunity to showcase wheelchair basketball and educate the general public on the capabilities of those with disabilities." explains Mike Haynes, team member and Manager of the Brain and Spine Center . "Hopefully, this exhibition will touch someone's life that did not know about wheelchair sports and make them understand the opportunities that are available to youths and adults with disabilities."

The Rec'ers is a nonprofit, community-based wheelchair basketball team. Team members contribute to the community in many ways including spinal cord injury prevention programs, ‘overcoming adversity' presentations and educational activities.

The Brain & Spine Center, a member of the Seton Family of Hospitals, offers a variety of programs to help patients with disorders of the brain and spine. These programs include stroke, epilepsy, tumors, aneurysms and vascular malformations, spasticity and movement disorders, head injuries, and back and spine/spinal cord problems.

The Center has earned the Neuroscience Center of Excellence designation; Primary Stroke Designation at both University Medical Center Brackenridge Hospital and Seton Medical Center Austin; created a comprehensive epilepsy program; established the innovative Brain & Spine Recovery Center; and is conducting advanced research projects involving stroke, spinal cord injuries, vascular malformations and spinal cord implants.

Interview /Photo Opportunity (pre-game): The Austin Rec'ers will hold their weekly practice on Wednesday, February 25 at 7:00 pm at The Hoop Zone located at 826 Rutland Drive, Austin, 78758.

Mike Haynes: Team member, Manager of the Brain & Spine Recovery Center, a member of the Seton Family of Hospitals. Mike was shot in the back while a student at University of Texas in 1982, but does not let his disability prohibit him from participating in team sports. Mike has traveled all over the world competing in wheelchair sports.

Ryan Sproull: 23-year-old team Member, injured in a fall at Angelo State University in September 2006.


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