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If you happened to walk through Mantor hall in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual... read more

Madonna Magic rolls into Kearney showing disabilities don't disable dreams
Matt Tomjack
Guest Writer

There is no dunking or fancy layups, but these guys definitely roll over their opponents. The Madonna Magic isn’t your ordinary basketball team. Although considered Nebraska’s premiere basketball team, they are the premiere team— in wheelchairs. And Loper fans can see them tonight during halftime of the first Loper men’s basketball game Wednesday, Nov.18 at 7 p.m. against Hastings College.

“Patrick Christiansen is a UNK alum and a member of the Magic,” said Shane Riley, president of Collegians for Integration and Accessibility (CIA). “We host a Disability Awareness Week every year, and he offered to come out and put on an exhibition match for Loper fans.”

Riley, a senior history and geography major from Arapahoe has been working on this project for a while. “The UNK athletic department has been kind enough to host the event during the opening men’s basketball game. The Madonna Magic will play members of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity at halftime instead of the traditional sponsor promotion,” Riley said.

This is the Magic’s 12th year as a program, and the team has visited UNK once before.

The Madonna Magic is a member of the NWBA, or the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. They travel all over the Midwest, playing teams from Kansas, Iowa and Missouri.

As a member of a professional organization, the team only takes the best players based upon their tryout results.

“I would like to encourage everyone to participate in the events of Disability Awareness Week. We feel there is something for everyone. Come out and show support for your Lopers on Wednesday and catch a great halftime game at the same time,” Riley said.

Riley is the first to pass along his gratitude to others for all of the help. “I would like to thank the members of CIA, Alpha Tau Omega and the Madonna Magic for being so flexible with this event. This entire week is important to CIA, and we could never get it done without their help.”

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