UTA men’s wheelchair basketball team reacts to Movin’ Mavs Day proclamation

The Movin' Mavs celebrate their ninth national championship in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, introduced Bill HR 910 on Thursday that will congratulate the Movin’ Mavs for winning the 2021 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Championship on March 13.

Doug Garner, Movin’ Mavs head coach, said this bill recognizes not only the Movin’ Mavs but also UTA and its support for adapted athletics.

“We’re doing something at the highest level that no other university is doing,” Garner said. “UTA has done it and supported the equity and inclusion of students with disabilities and has been successful doing it.”

When it comes to how much recognition this will bring to adapted athletics as a whole, Garner said he won’t know until time passes, but he feels it's huge that the state legislator and elected officials take the time to recognize the success of the Movin’ Mavs.

The team is breaking stereotypes and bringing more awareness to the sport of wheelchair basketball, he said.

“When people see wheelchair basketball, it's always, ‘Oh, well that's not what I thought it was,’” Garner said. “It sends the message that people with disabilities can do a lot more than people think they can.”

Instead of seeing a situation like a bill being introduced for a wheelchair basketball team as unique, Garner said he hopes one day that it’s just a normal situation.

“Our goal is that someday it’s not that unique [of] a situation,” he said. “I hope it's just part of the fabric of collegiate sports in the future.”

@JayRod003

sports-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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