Life in a wheel chair has its limitations, but the Sacramento Rollin’ Kings players aren’t letting anything hold them back. From cancer survivors to victims of gun violence, the players have had to overcome many obstacles.
"I was playing all the normal high school sports, and doing all the normal high school stuff, and my legs started hurting, and come to find out I had cancer,” said team captain Joseph Chambers.
For Chambers, basketball has always been his passion. But after he was diagnosed with bone cancer, he thought he would never play again. That is until he found wheelchair basketball 15 years ago. Now he’s a two-time Paralympian and getting ready to take his team to a national competition in Seattle.
"This whole team is a unit, it's a family, and that's what's so great. This group is my family, I love every one of them,” Chambers said.
The team is run by the Capital City Adaptive Athletes Foundation, a local non-profit. Each player has a unique story. Some were born with a physical disability, while others were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
"A guy ran up, shot me, took my wallet and ran off and the bullet hit my chest,” said team member Arthur Renowitzky. “So one bullet did a lot of damage. Pretty much, I woke up in a coma a month later."
Team member Steven Davis is a Navy veteran. "After my motorcycle accident I was rushed to the emergency room and was induced into coma, and when I woke up I no motor function in my right leg,” he said.
But while their struggles have brought them together, it’s their love of the game that’s made them a team.
"Inside those four lines is kind of where the world makes sense for me,” said Chambers. “I'm free for that 40 minutes. Basketball has just always been my true love."
Last year the Sacramento Rollin’ Kings were ranked in the top ten.
The Seattle Jam Tournament takes place December 3 and 4.