NYC & COMPANY ANNOUNCES THE INAUGURAL MATTHEW SAPOLIN MEMORIAL WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT, OCTOBER 6–7

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NYC & COMPANY ANNOUNCES THE INAUGURAL MATTHEW SAPOLIN MEMORIAL WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT, OCTOBER 6–7

—NYC Mayor’s Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
Renamed in Honor of Former Commissioner for

Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities—

New York City (September 27, 2012) – NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization, today announced that the annual NYC Mayor’s Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament has been renamed the Matthew Sapolin Memorial Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in honor of Commissioner Matthew Sapolin, who died last year after leading the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for nearly a decade.

“This is a fitting tribute to Matthew Sapolin, a lifelong athlete who was passionate about providing New Yorkers with disabilities with the opportunity to play sports," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Among his many accomplishments, Matt was instrumental in fostering the growth of the NYC Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament and transforming the event into one of the most prestigious tournaments in the country.  We are proud to honor the former commissioner by renaming this event for him.”

“For more than ten years the NYC Mayor’s Cup Wheelchair Basketball tournament has attracted some of the nation’s best wheelchair basketball teams to New York City for the opportunity to compete at the highest level of sports competition,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “Matthew Sapolin, an avid sports enthusiast and gifted athlete, was dedicated to helping New Yorkers with disabilities play sports and we are proud to acknowledge his support of the NYC Mayor’s Cup Wheelchair Basketball event by renaming the tournament in his honor.”

“Commissioner Sapolin was an accomplished athlete and loved sports,” said Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise. “Naming this tournament after him truly shows that people with disabilities can accomplish anything they set their minds and bodies to.”

The Annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will bring some of the nation’s best wheelchair basketball teams to New York City for two days of nonstop action on October 6 and 7 in the Bronx at Manhattan College’s Draddy Gymnasium (Tibbett Avenue and West 244th Street) and Horace Mann High School (Tibbett Avenue, between 246th Street and College Road). The tournament is the largest of its kind in the Northeast and has become one of the premier events on the National Wheelchair Basketball Association schedule.

Preliminary rounds will take place Saturday, October 6, from 9am to 5pm, and the playoffs will begin on Sunday, October 7, at 8am. The championship game will take place on Sunday, October 7, at 11:30am. Admission is free to all the games.

The eight teams that are scheduled to compete are the Bulova Stetson Nets (Hackensack, New Jersey), New York Nets, New York Rollin’ Knicks (Manhattan), NEPVA Celtics (Brockton, Massachusetts), New England Blazers, NRH Ambassadors (Washington, DC), Connecticut Spokebenders (New Britain) and the defending champion Nassau Kings (Garden City, Long Island)

Wheelchair basketball is played on a regulation basketball court. Players may push their wheelchairs only twice before dribbling or passing. The height of the basketball hoop is the standard 10 feet used in both college and professional basketball. Athletes use wheelchairs specially designed for speed and maneuverability.

The Matthew Sapolin Memorial Wheelchair Basketball Tournament is organized by NYC & Company and supported by the Wheelchair Sports Federation and the Bulova Stetson Fund. More information about the tournament can be found at facebook.com/SapolinTournament.

About NYC & Company:
NYC & Company is the official marketing, tourism and partnership organization for the City of New York, dedicated to maximizing travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide. For more information, visit nycgo.com.

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Contact: NYC & Company/ Emily Mayrath 212-484-1270