The Movin’ Mavs wheelchair basketball team announced signing Kyle Huckaby, a Port Neches-Groves High School senior, on Thursday to help in the teams’ quest of an unprecedented eighth national championship next season.
Huckaby, who also plays for travel wheelchair basketball team the Houston Hotwheels, is the team’s second signee for next season behind fellow Hotwheels teammate, Malat Wei.
Huckaby said his visit to campus and the proximity to his family in Houston led to his decision.
“Everybody seems pretty friendly, and it’s not a huge campus, but not small either. So it’s definitely something that I can get used to,” Huckaby said. “I talked to Malat and a couple of former Hotwheels players that are Movin’ Mavs, Alex Gonzalez and Kris Shannon, but it was ultimately up to me to make that decision, and I felt like it was a good fit.
Huckaby has only played wheelchair basketball for three years, starting as a sophomore in high school. He said that sports provide people without disabilities a different perspective to those with them.
“Wheelchair basketball provides a level playing field for everybody and lets us show we’re able to play sports and prove that we’re not just people in wheelchairs, but we can go up against the best of them,” Huckaby said.
Huckaby was born with spina bifida, a birth defect of the spine, which prevents him from walking short distances without leg braces. He said he looks forward to joining the team and hopes to learn a lot from a winning organization.
“UTA is one of the top programs in the country with some of the best players in the game,” Huckaby said. “To learn from and play alongside them will be a great learning experience for me, definitely.”
Doug Garner, Movin’ Mavs head coach, is currently coaching wheelchair basketball and track teams at the Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Co. and could not be reached for comment.