Cash Mob Eyes the Court for Wheelchair Basketball Team

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

October 13, 2012

The Charlottesville Cash Mob strikes again. This time, with a nationally-ranked local non-profit that's still in need of some help.

It's a Charlottesville basketball team that says despite its disabilities, they're rolling with it.

It's the same teamwork, the same shots and the same sweat in their basketball game. But the Charlottesville Cardinals are part of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association and were ranked 14th in the country last year.

"When I was 14 years old, I was riding through the woods with some friends mountain biking and I blacked out, woke up in the dirt and I was paralyzed. That was the beginning of my life in a wheelchair," Cardinal Brandon Rush said.

He's been playing on the team for 15 years now and he says for him and his teammates, the Cardinals fulfilled them when their lives were turned upside down.

"For me, it gave me the opportunity in high school to be a jock. I was playing sports. In fact, I was traveling more than the high school team ever would," said Rush. "It was my sense of being normal."

And he says the team is more than just basketball. They're a face to the community and, for some, the face of hope.

"People see us playing basketball, but they see us in the community, too. And if something unfortunate were to happen and if you were stuck in a wheelchair, then you know there is an outlet out there for you to stay physical," he said.

And that love for the game and presence in the community was what caught the eye of the Charlottesville Cash Mob.

"I was struck by their good nature, their humor and you watch them even scrimmage and they're having fun out there. They emphasize their abilities rather than their disabilities," said Bob Fenwick, organizer of the Charlottesville Cash Mob.

This is just the beginning of their season and they're off to a great start. They swept the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday in a doubleheader.

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