Established in 1985, the Michigan Thunderbirds have become one of the nation's most successful wheelchair sports programs, competing prominently in basketball and hand- cycling. Since joining the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) in 1994, the T-Birds have quickly made their mark. Winners of the 1996 Division II National Championship, the team has since been promoted to the league's top tier. With a solid nucleus of veterans coupled with a steady influx of exciting recruits, the T-Birds continue to compete with the league's best. Finishing second and fourth respectively, at the 2003 and 2004 NWBA Tournaments, the team is building a strong, winning tradition.
When not on the hardwood, the T-Birds are tearing up the tracks in hand-cycling. The team participates in many rides and races across the country. Popular events include the "Cycle to Sea" ride, spanning from Charlotte, NC to Myrtle Beach, SC, and the annual international marathon in Detroit.
The Thunderbirds also understand their responsibility to be positive role models in the community. Involved in several community outreach activities, the T-Birds frequently put on basketball and hand-cycle demonstrations and make public appearances, promoting recreation and well-being for people with disabilities.
In recognition of their accomplishments on and off the playing field, the T-Birds were inducted into the Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame. As part of their enshrinement, they were awarded 2003 Male Athletes of the Year honors.
Thunderbirds Basketball Team Inducted into Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame
The Michigan Thunderbirds wheelchair basketball team was inducted into the Athletes with Disabilities Hall of Fame as the 2003 Male Athletes of the Year. This honor was based on the on court success of the team last season as well as their continuing involvement in community programs. Read more