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by NYC Editor , 10/09/2009

 
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COMMISSIONERS PODZIBA AND SAPOLIN WELCOME THE 2009 MAYOR'S CUP WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT PRESENTED BY THE BARCLAYS/NETS COMMUNITY ALLIANCE

On October 9-11, New York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth J. Podziba and Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Matthew Sapolin will welcome the 2009 Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by The Barclays/Nets Community Alliance to the Bronx's Manhattan College and Horace Mann High School. The tournament will feature 11 of the best men’s wheelchair basketball teams from around the country and is free to the public. Manhattan College's Draddy Gymnasium is located at West 244th St and Tibbett Ave in the Bronx and Horace Mann High School is located right down the street on Tibbett Avenue between West 246th St and College Road.

Commissioner Podziba will formally welcome all of the participating teams at a Mayor's Cup Welcome Dinner that will be held at 8:00pm on Friday, October 9 at the Draddy Gymnasium. At the dinner, Commissioner Podziba will also present former NBA All-Star and coach Butch Beard with the Mayor's Cup Community Service Award. All media are invited to attend.

The tournament tips-off on Friday, October 9 with games at 5:00pm and 6:30pm at Manhattan College's Draddy Gymnasium and continues on Saturday, October 10 with games beginning at 8:00am and continuing through the day until 7:00pm. Horace Mann High School will also host games on Saturday which will run from 10:00am until 12:00pm concurrently with the games at Manhattan College. The event will conclude at Manhattan College on Sunday, October 11 with playoff games at 9:00am, followed by the Championship Game at 10:30am. The awards ceremony will follow the conclusion of the championship game.

"I have watched with great pride as the Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Presented by the Barclays/Nets Community Alliance has grown into the largest event of its kind in the Northeast," said Commissioner Podziba. "This year, we will welcome a talented field as teams from around the country will compete for the prestigious Mayor's Cup title. This is an inspirational event that brings together an incredible group of athletes who demonstrate the best that the human spirit can offer. Their character, leadership, and skill are to be admired by us all. I also want to give a special thanks to the Barlclays/Nets Community Alliance for their generous support."

The New York Metropolitan Area will be represented by several local clubs including the Bulova Nets (Bronx), New York Nets (NJ, Queens), the New York Rollin' Knicks (Manhattan, Brooklyn), the Nassau Kings (Long Island), and the Suffolk County Cobras (Long Island). The Connecticut Spokebenders, Cleveland Cavaliers (OH), Bay State Clippers (MA), New England Blazers (MA), Scranton Allied Forces (PA) and NEVPA Celtics (MA) will fill out the bracket. Wheelchair basketball is played on a regulation basketball court, but players may only push their wheelchair twice before dribbling or passing. The height of the basket is the standard 10 feet used in both college and professional basketball. Athletes use specially designed wheelchairs engineered for speed and maneuverability.

"The City of New York is committed to providing greater opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in competitive sports programs," said Commissioner Sapolin. "Building on the display of tough competition and sportsmanship illustrated at last year's Mayor's Cup, this year's tournament will undoubtedly provide even more fierce basketball as these teams battle each other for the prestigious Cup." Butch Beard played with five different NBA teams, including the New York Knicks. He was a member of the Golden State Warriors in 1975, when they won the NBA Championship. As a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, he played in the 1972 NBA All-Star Game. Butch was also the head coach for the New Jersey Nets. In 1992, while head coach at Howard University, he was named MEAC Coach of the Year and in 2001 was selected Co-Head Coach of the Year at Morgan State University.

"It's a true honor to be presented with the Mayor's Cup Community Service Award," said Butch Beard. "The 2009 Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Presented by the Barclays/ Nets Community Alliance is an inspirational event that brings together an incredible group of athletes who demonstrate the best that the human spirit can offer. Their character, leadership, and skill are to be admired by us all. I want to thank New York City Sports Commissioner Kenneth J. Podziba, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Matthew Sapolin, the Louise and Arde Bulova Fund and the Barclay Nets Community Alliance for helping to provide this wonderful opportunity for people with disabilities."

The New York City Sports Commission created the Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in 2001 in an effort to provide greater opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in competitive sports programs. This NWBA-sanctioned tournament has been held annually ever since and has become the largest wheelchair basketball tournament in the Northeast. The New York City Sports Commission will award the Mayor's Cup Trophy to the champions as well as participation medals to all the players competing in the tournament. The city also sponsors Mayor's Cup tournaments in a variety of other sports including: chess, cross country, field hockey, billiards, handball, kayaking, lacrosse, rugby, squash, table tennis, track & field and wrestling. For a complete tournament schedule, please visit the Mayor's Cup Wheelchair Basketball Tournament Official Website The Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities serves as a liaison between City government and disabled individuals and organizations representing or serving New Yorkers with disabilities. The Office works with City agencies to make sure that the particular needs of People with Disabilities are considered in the development of City policies, programs, and services.

The New York City Sports Commission is the mayoral agency charged with attracting, facilitating and promoting professional, amateur and scholastic sports events in New York City. In recent years, the Sports Commission has played a role in creating or developing many new sporting events, including the NFL Kickoff Live from Times Square, NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series™ Champions Week, the BMC Software NYC Cycling Championship, the AVP Brooklyn Open, the NAUTICA NYC Triathlon, the NYC Half-Marathon, the Union Square Street Sessions presented by Jeep®, the Wild Onion Urban Adventure Race.

Contacts:

Jeff Mohl, Tournament Director (New York City Sports Commission) 212-484-5410