Banner Wheelchair Suns Outscore Payson Hotwheels 109 To 105

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"Shooting a basketball from a wheelchair is like trying to throw a large rock up into the middle of the air," said Russell Youngcourt, assistant manager of the Payson Safeway.

While he's not bound to a wheelchair, Youngcourt and his teammates roll onto the basketball court each year to help raise money for local individuals with special needs.

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Ken Boyes of Chapman Auto Center takes a shot as Corbin Beu of the Banner Wheelchair Suns reaches to block the attempt. The Payson Hotwheels is a local team made up of non-wheelchair-bound athletes who volunteer for an annual benefit exhibition game against the Banner Wheelchair Suns. Proceeds from the event benefit local individuals with special needs.

Youngcourt is one of several veteran volunteer players who make up the Payson Hotwheels wheelchair basketball team.

On Friday evening, the Hotwheels went head-to-head with the Banner Wheelchair Suns in Wilson Dome for the eighth annual benefit exhibition game.

"There are four or five of us who have played for a few years," Youngcourt said. "We've really started to learn what to do.

"The Suns always like to keep the game interesting so they let us score, but if they really put their minds to it, they would dominate us."

Youngcourt said playing the game for the past five years has helped him gain a greater appreciation for just how talented the Wheelchair Suns really are. "And these guys make it so much fun. They are a joy to be around. Anyone who has come out to the games knows how much fun they are," Youngcourt said.

The final score: Banner Wheelchair Suns 109, Payson Hotwheels 105.

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