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Paralympian Lesson by Patrick Anderson -Wheelchair Basketball- (Part II)

Lesson 3: 3-on-3 Mini-Game

Afterwards, they moved onto a 3-on-3 mini-game, with Anderson playing the games with them. Both the participants and the audience marveled at Anderson’s impressive array of tricks, from his no-look passes to his three-point shoots and quick turns. Everyone in the venue seemed buoyed by the fact that they got to watch this world-level performance so up close.

For the participants, playing these 3-on-3 games with Anderson felt like a dream come true

Anderson putting on a powerful performance

Lesson 4: Q&A

After the games, Anderson responded to some questions from the participants.

“How should a low-pointer play?” asked a participant who, in the wheelchair basketball point system, has a score of 1.0, and is in the classification of athletes with the heaviest disability.

“As you go further and further up the ranks of competition in the world, how the 1.0-score players play can really determine the outcome of a game. So I would say low-pointers should work on making sure their shooting is solid, and maneuvering in a way that creates space for their teammates. It’s also important occasionally to stop an opponent’s play with a foul. The low-pointers I played with on the Canadian team, in the world’s top tournaments, were very smart, and were very good at positioning themselves strategically.”

Anderson candidly answering some questions after the lesson

Showing off his tilting skills!

Passing a tire while tilting

He also showed off his tilting skills, in which he lifts up one wheel of the wheelchair and balances on the other. The audience erupted in joy at his performance—taking off the wheel of his wheelchair while balancing on the other, passing the wheel to different people, putting the wheel back, stopping his wheelchair without using the casters, spinning his wheelchair around without using his hands… About the purpose behind tilting, Anderson said the following.

“At first glance, it might not look like a skill you would need. But you know that in wheelchair basketball, you fall over a lot—along with your wheelchair—as you play. Practice tilting, and you find out how far you can tilt the wheelchair without you falling over. And if you’re a mid-pointer or high-pointer of around 3.0 points, you’ll find out which parts of your body you need to use to keep your balance.”

The Power of Anderson’s Plays and Words

This lesson was a very meaningful experience not only for those already experienced in wheelchair basketball, but also for the younger participants that are just now getting into the sport.

Anderson instructing the younger participants as to wheelchair basketball skills

The youngest participants was also in charge of presenting Anderson with a bouquet of flowers at the end of the lesson, seemed a little shy and reserved during the lesson, but afterwards said happily, “It was fun. I learned that it was good to dribble in a lot of different places. I’ve only been playing wheelchair basketball for six months, but I want to continue playing in the future.”

Working hard during one of the exercises

The only female participant, said cheerfully, “I really like sports, and right now I’m trying canoe mainly, but also skiing and wheelchair athletics. I’ve tried wheelchair basketball a few times too, and today was really fun. Mr. Anderson made me feel like I could get better if I worked hard and practiced as much as I could, and it really made me want to get into wheelchair basketball.”

Shooting the ball in the mini-game

A boy said he had gone to watch Anderson play in an international tournament held this June, said of his goals, “Mr. Anderson was just so incredibly fast. My dream is to become a wheelchair basketball player and compete in the Paralympics. If Mr. Anderson is still on the Canadian team when this happens, I’d really love to play against him.”

His goal is to be on the Japan national team for wheelchair basketball

Another boy put the adults to shame with his amazing free throws, looked very satisfied as he told us, “It was so nice to get this private lesson from Mr. Anderson. I’ve watched his plays so many times on YouTube, but seeing it in real life it felt so much more powerful, and the lesson was so fun. I’m going to go home and practice what he taught me!”

He would use what he learned in the lesson as fodder for his training

“For the Canada team to compete in the Tokyo Paralympic Games, we’ll first have to get through the preliminaries—but I promise we’ll get past it, and I’m looking forward to seeing you all again in 2020!” said Anderson with confidence, before leaving the arena.

How will this experience, with this superstar’s words and plays, affect the lives of the children that were at the event? This lesson—and the excitement dancing in the eyes of the participants—was a testament to the great power and influence that Paralympians have over us.

Commemorative photo with Anderson to close off the event

【WHO I AM】IPC&WOWOW Paralympic Documentary Series

text by TEAM A
photo by Hisashi Okamoto

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