Very few times has scoring a point meant more for one UTA player than it will for Annabelle Lindsay during the Lady Movin' Mavs’ Wheelchair Basketball Tournament this weekend.
Lindsay is organizing a fundraiser to help aid bushfire relief efforts in Australia. She has pledged to donate $2 for every basket she scores and $5 for every time a player falls out of their wheelchair during the tournament. All proceeds will go toward the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.
In a previous Shorthorn article, she talked about the impact of the bushfires in her hometown of Canberra and how they’ve devastated the country.
“For me, it's a very personal thing.” Lindsay said. “Being able to raise awareness but also kind of contribute in any way I can is a big deal for me.”
Head coach Jason Nelms said the team stands behind Lindsay in her attempts to help Australia.
“It touches us really deeply over here, so we want to make sure that we're really supportive for her as well.” Nelms said.
Per4Max Wheelchairs, a Dallas-based company run by UTA alumni that sponsors both Movin’ Mavs teams, will match Lindsay's donation. Nelms, a partner of the company, said it was an obvious choice to make.
“With Annabelle wanting to go ahead and give back herself and donate to the wildfires, it just made sense that we should go ahead and back her as well,” Nelms said.
The Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks will also be matching the donation.
Lindsay said she got the idea from other athletes like tennis star Alexander Zverev, who pledged to donate $10,000 toward relief efforts for every match that he won at the Australian Open. Zverev won five matches, donating a total of $50,000.
Being almost 9,000 miles away from home, raising money in this fashion was the next best way to help.
“We have girls on this team that are very clumsy and fall out of their chairs a lot,.” Lindsay said jokingly. “So that'll hopefully rack it up a little bit more.”
Some of the top teams in the country will be competing in the tournament, but Nelms said he thinks Lindsay has a great opportunity to score a total of 200 points throughout the weekend and surpass her career-high of over 48 points in a game.
“I can see her in a couple games probably breaking that,” Nelms said. “It's gonna take a team effort for them to stop her, and I don't think they can.”
Going into the tournament, the Lady Movin’ Mavs will be without sophomore Elizabeth Becker and graduate student Darlene Hunter. Both players will be competing for a roster spot on the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team for the upcoming Paralympic Games.
Nelms said the team will be forced to run certain lineups, but preparation leading up to the tournament is an asset the team can benefit from.
“The whole focus of [this] weekend is trying to prepare what we can best,” Nelms said. “Trying to make some of our weaknesses our strengths.”
The Lady Movin’ Mavs begin tournament play at 6 p.m. Friday in the Physical Education Building.