I must congratulate Van Products, under the coaching leadership of Parker Harrell, along with his teammates and All-Star Phil Ford who took home the Golden Ball Trophy for the 4th year in a row! They played with honor and excellence following the new player rules this year and getting all their teammates involved! Coming in second, in what is becoming a rivalry for the ages, was Century 21 Triangle Group, with the Roberts family at the helm and Freddie ‘Moot Dog’ Smith showcasing what wheelchair basketball is all about. It was intense, close and incredible competition.
The entire August Madness 2019 celebration was full of good-natured competition with everyone’s hearts and motivation firmly focused on making a difference for Bridge II Sports.
It began Sunday morning at the American Tobacco Campus YMCA ‘Cage’ court, where the Pros were schooled in the art of wheelchair basketball. We followed with a lovely lunch at Nana Steak. Then we finished the evening with the Draft at the PNC Triangle Club in the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Corporate and company teams waiting until the last minute to get their final fundraising dollars in the system so they could get first Draft pick of our All-Star Studded athletes. First pick went to RTI International and the first 4 draft picks this year were all elite wheelchair basketball players! Always fun to watch how teams strategize their picks.
Beyond the draft competition this was a night of glitz, glamour and good stories. Several of our Draft Athletes were dressed to the nines along with me. Yes, I was in sparkles! Several Bridge II Sports athletes took the spotlight and shared their stories of hope found as they engaged in adapted sport. Bidding on over 70 items in the August Madness online auction was on fire through the evening! We even had an “Invitation Only” After Party to cap off a great evening.
After a little rest our Bridge II Sports team was up and going at the PNC Arena early to set up. Volunteers were briefed and the concourse was made ready. We are thankful for Microsoft’s participation this year sharing many adaptions for people with disabilities and gaming! Why? Bridge II Sports vision is by creating opportunities we develop a culture of empowerment that fosters respect for all abilities and has a life changing impact on all humanity. Through adapted sports Bridge II Sports educates, develops and implements opportunities for youth and adults with physical disabilities to play individual, team and recreational sports, finding the player within. August Madness bridges this gap between people, companies, corporations, and technology. Did I mention friendly competition and sport?
This year we were honored to have MetLife as the overall event sponsor. We are so thankful for sponsors that have seen the vision year after year including Capitol Broadcasting, PNC Arena, Van Products, Smith Debnam Law and ID Shield.
I am so grateful for all the teams that joined us this year—MetLife had 2, GlaxoSmithKline had 2 again this year, RTI International, SunTrust, Van Products, PNC Arena/Carolina Hurricanes, Century 21 Triangle Group, Smith Debnam Law and teams from both Ft. Bragg and Camp Lejeune. We even had a Mascot Game starring Mr. and Ms. Wuf from NC State, Stormy of the Carolina Hurricanes and Mikey the Mako Medical Shark!
For those who missed out, be on the lookout in March for team sign-up. If you are not following us on Facebook, please do. You can also sign up for our weekly updates on our website: www.bridge2sports.org
Finally, we do need donations of funds. It is how we keep our doors open and provide multiple adapted sport for multiple types of physical disabilities to include children, youth, veterans, and adults. You can be a supporter of the Bridge at www.bridge2sports.org/donate
Thank you to all who made this a fun, competitive event! Your support is valued and appreciated!
Building the Bridge Together-