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The Rebound documentary on wheelchair basketball comes to Rochester

The independence that sports can bring to people with disabilities is something that is explored in a documentary about a wheelchair basketball team that will be shown in Rochester this week.

It’s called The Rebound, and it will be shown Wednesday evening at The Little Theatre, followed by a discussion afterward including a Skype interview with the film’s director. WXXI and the Al Sigl Community of Agencies are partnering for this free screening.

The film follows the  underdog journey of the “Miami Heat Wheels “ wheelchair basketball team.

There has been a Rochester wheelchair basketball team for a number of years, and the current coach of the "Rochester Wheels", Xavier Major,  notes that even when his team plays against competitors, they all share a common bond.

“We’ve all kind of encouraged each other and learned from each other and because of our disabilities and the time that we’ve been disabled, we’ve kind of seen each other over the years and have made good friends locally and away,” Major told WXXI News.

Major started playing wheelchair basketball after an injury left him with a disability about 25 years ago. He says one of the things he likes about the game is the reaction of family friends who come out to see these games

“You know, you feel like sometimes they just come out of sympathy for you, but then when they come out and see a game, the reaction after the game when they come over and go, ‘Holy cow you guys are nuts, I had no idea it was this competitive and aggressive,’  and that feeling afterward is always the reaction I like to see.”

The Rebound will be shown on Wednesday evening starting at 6:30. It will be followed by a panel discussion that includes Xavier Major and a Skype interview with the film's director, Shania Allen.

This story is part of Dialogue on Disability Week.

Dialogue on Disability is a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies - in conjunction with the Herman and Margaret Schwartz Community Series.  Dialogue on Disability is supported by the Fred L. Emerson Foundation with additional support from The Golisano Foundation.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.