Husson wheelchair basketball at Newman gym on the Husson University campus. Husson University photo by Kevin Bennett Photographers credit must follow this image wherever it is published or posted.

Event is designed to be both fun and educational while allowing students to build an understanding and appreciation of the mobility challenges affecting the disabled community.

BANGOR — Husson University’s Organization of Physical Therapy Students is hosting the 23rd annual Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at Newman Gymnasium at 1 College Circle in on Saturday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Any Husson University student, faculty member, staff member, or graduate is welcome to put together a five-person team and participate.

“You don’t really fully appreciate the challenges facing the disabled until you experience them yourself,” said Ryan Wheelock, president of Husson Student Government and the Organization of Physical Therapy Students. Wheelock completed a bachelor of science in exercise science last year and is currently pursuing a doctor of physical therapy and a master of business administration. He expects to complete these degrees in 2024.

“When you play wheelchair basketball, you realize pretty quickly that this sport requires some significant athleticism. It’s pretty difficult to sink a basket from a sitting position,” continued Wheelock. “Plus it’s challenging to move up and down the court. Playing this game has given me a newfound respect and appreciation for those who play wheelchair basketball regularly and are good at it.”

While the event is open to everyone in the Husson community, teams from Husson University’s College of Health and Pharmacy will find the event to be an eye-opening experience. “After the competition is done, our students walk away with a greater appreciation of what the physically disabled have to go through every day. If this experience cultivates greater levels of empathy among our students for future clients with mobility issues, then this event will have fully achieved its desired objective,” said Dr. Michelle Slike, an assistant professor in the School of Physical Therapy.

“Additionally, watching the students play alongside their classmates, faculty, alumni, and other health profession students is both fun and engaging. It’s a great way for the students to learn while also raising money for a great cause,” said Slike.

The event is free and open to the public. Family, friends, and community members are encouraged to attend. Spectators will be able to enjoy multiple games of wheelchair basketball, children’s activities, prizes between games, and concessions throughout the morning. In addition, there will be a series of raffles taking place throughout the day. This adds another layer of fun to the event as students engage in fundraising.

Prizes include restaurant gift cards, movie tickets, book store gift cards, ski passes, tickets to a Waterfront Concerts performance up to $175, and much more. All of the proceeds from the food, drink and raffle ticket purchases will go toward the Physical Therapy Student Travel Fund in order to send physical therapy students to the 2024 American Physical Therapy Association Combined Sections Meeting in Boston. CSM is an amazing educational experience that allows students to further their knowledge and create long-lasting connections.

Anyone attending this event can purchase raffle tickets for $1 each or six for $5. Individuals must be present to win. Those that would like to donate but are unable to attend the event can support Husson University PT students by texting HussonPT to 41444 or by making a direct online donation to the Student Travel Fund. This Fund allows students to enrich their knowledge by attending conferences and educational opportunities outside of the school. Visit to make a donation.

Husson University’s Organization of Physical Therapy Students promotes academic excellence, public service, and professional networking through a series of meeting and fundraising events. The group is dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles, raising awareness of disability-related issues and encouraging professionalism within the discipline of physical therapy.

OPTS members are all students in Husson University’s School of Physical Therapy. This school provides the advanced knowledge students need to become skilled and knowledgeable practitioners who collaborate with a patient’s health care team to help maximize function. Students can enroll in any of three programs: a six-year Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Doctor of Physical Therapy degree; a three-year Doctor of Physical Therapy degree or a Doctor of Physical Therapy/Master of Business Administration dual degree program.

The School of Physical Therapy is just one of several schools that are a part of Husson University’s College of Health and Pharmacy. Others include the School of Nursing, the School of Occupational Therapy, and the School of Pharmacy.

The facilities at Husson University include designated physical and therapy lecture rooms and labs, a cadaver dissection lab, excellent library resources and wireless computer access.

For nearly 125 years, Husson University has shown its adaptability and strength in delivering educational programs that prepare future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent a superior value in higher education. The hallmarks of a Husson education include advanced knowledge delivered through quality educational programs in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. According to an analysis of tuition and fees by U.S. News & World Report, Husson University is one of the most affordable private colleges in New England. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit