Ever seen Fox 2 News anchor Deena Centofanti shoot hoops? Ever seen Fox 2 News anchor Deena Centofanti shoot hoops? Better yet, ever seen her do it from a wheelchair? How about sports reporter Terry Foster or Mike Lodish, six-time Super Bowl alumni?
These celebrities and others will play in the 10th annual Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball Game on Sept. 22 at Oakland University in Rochester – benefit for the Detroit Medical Center’s Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. But don’t worry – you will see some baskets made, because the Detroit Diehards, who travel throughout the Midwest playing wheelchair basketball, are playing along with the celebrities.
“The first year we did this, we had all the celebrities on one side and all the Diehards on the other, and it was a complete slaughter,” said Cheryl Angelelli, director of public relations for the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. In years since, the Diehards are divided, and celebrities are added to their teams for the game.
The event raises some $50,000 annually for the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan’s SportsAbility program, said Angelelli. The program gives people with disabilities an opportunity to participate in sports like basketball, bowling, tennis, weightlifting and others.
Tickets are just $8 for adults and $5 for kids, and are available the night of the event.
The majority of the money raised at the event comes from sponsorships, which include individuals and companies who contribute financial support to the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.
The event is a fun evening out, but also an awareness-builder for people with disabilities, Angelelli said. “For a lot of (the celebrities), it’s a very eye-opening experience. Basketball is very different sitting down than standing up.”
The pre-game event starts at 6 p.m.and features Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan doctors, nurses and therapists playing basketball against Oakland University’s Athletic Department. The Celebrity Wheelchair Basketball Game begins at7 p.m.
For more information, visit www.celebritywheelchairbasketball.org.