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King of the Court: Cicero firefighters vs. Wheelchair Fire

Published: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 4:28 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 4:32 p.m. CDT
(Matthew Piechalak)
Cicero firefighter Dan Pedretti dribbles the basketball up the floor during the annual wheelchair charity basketball game between the Cicero Fire Department and the Chicago Fire Wheelchair Basketball team at the Cicero Community Center, 2250 S. 49th Ave. on March 28. Matthew Piechalak — mpiechalak@shawmedia.com

They put up a heck of a fight, but in the end, the Cicero Fire Department was shot down in flames by the Wheelchair Fire basketball team March 28.

The fundraiser, sponsored by the West Suburban Special Recreation Association (WSSRA), pitted the firefighters against the Wheelchair Fire, a team of seasoned basketball players, men and women, who are confined to wheelchairs as a result of injuries or illness, some since birth. The firefighters as well played from wheelchairs. The Fire team won 85-82.

Keith Wallace, WSSRA CEO and founder, said the Wheelchair Fire team members are from all over the south suburbs, southside of Chicago and northwest Indiana.

“There was tons of fast action,” Wallace said. “It’s always high intensity, highly energetic and athletic. The Cicero Fire Dept always plays really well, better than other fire departments. They pass very well, they get the concept of the game.”

WSSRA coordinator April Ryan was on hand and said she “had a blast” watching the game.

“It was great seeing all the community support,” Ryan said.

The proceeds from the game went to West Suburban Special Recreation Association and the Chicago Fire Wheelchair Basketball team.

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