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Local Kids Come Together to Create a Wheelchair Basketball Team

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. (Brad Underwood) -- Fourth grade students at a Northern Kentucky elementary school are helping to raise money to bring a professional wheelchair basketball team to the Cincinnati area.

Teaming up with Skool Aid, an organization that provides educational programs for elementary schools, the students hosted a wheelchair basketball game at the school.

The decision to help came after Skool Aid held an assembly at Summit View Elementary earlier this year, 4th grader Kinsey Barth says that program was awesome. 
"We are doing everything for disability awareness and we had an assembly and we thought it was pretty cool that they came and showed us about it," said Barth.
Summit View Principal, Lesley Smith says after that visit by Skool Aid, the staff was ready to make something happen.
"It was a hit, from there  our fourth grade teachers came up with this idea with the students to really make a difference to not only impact our school but the community as well," said Smith.
Skool Aid Founder Ian Smith is teaming up Jacob Courts in this push to raise money and start a team. Courts has played with the USA National Wheelchair Basketball team, but now helps Smith out with the organization.

Both men are Northern Kentucky natives. All proceeds from the fundraiser game will go directly to Skool Aid.
"It will help buy some wheelchairs, for youth, adults, if nothing else bits and pieces of the chairs, side guards and things," said Ian Smith.
It will also help pay for traveling once the team is established because the closest competitions are in Lexington or Indianapolis.

Fourth grader Zach Sheper says he wants to help because he knows there aren't a lot of options for wheelchair sports in the area.
"People with disabilities, there's not many leagues for them to play in, so this is helping them have to play sports," said Sheper.
Right now, the team name is being worked  on, but Ian Smith says he wants to pay tribute to Cincinnati's basketball history and name the team the "Cincinnati Royals".

If you would like to join Skool Aid on the court, they play wheelchair basketball on Tuesday nights at the Leblond recreation center in Cincinnati from 6:30-8:30PM

Click HERE for more information on Skool Aid.

Video HERE



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