By Annette P. Gomes, Warrior Care TransitionJune 19, 2018
Signed. Sealed. Delivered - Team Army brings home third straight gold medal in wheelchair basketball
By Annette P. Gomes, Warrior Care Transition
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Team Army was looking for a "three-peat" in an effort to bring home another gold medal during the 2018 wheelchair basketball finals - they did just that.
In front of a packed crowd at the United States Air Force Academy's Clune Arena, Team Army battled Team Air Force for Warrior Games supremacy.
Enthusiastic fans chanted, screamed and cheered for their favorite team.
Limited in motion by extensive knee cap surgery and a shoulder surgery, Staff Sgt. Shawn Runnells was a first time participant. He says communication was key to winning the game.
"I was completely focused on the game. I couldn't hear anything outside of what was happening on that floor. I was focused on my next move and the incredible communication that was happening. It was on point. We told each other who stole the ball, who was down court, we simply gelled so well together," Runnells said.
Team Army led Team Air Force 29-18 at the half.
U.S. Army retired Spc. Brent Garlic, who had 13 points and three assists, praised the game plan and the reward for the hard work it took to win.
"I love it when a plan comes together. I put the work in and I expected nothing less, anything less would have been uncivilized. This is phenomenal. Basketball is my heart and I don't want this day to end, I can't wait till next year, I'm just ready to go," said Garlic.
U.S. Army retired Sgt. Chris McGinnis said the path was lit for a victory.
"It was becoming really intense, but after we won the games against the U.K., [Special Operations Command], Navy and the Marines and we were headed into the finals, I was becoming more and more excited. It's really a phenomenal feeling," McGinnis said.
Team Army won the game 57-44.
Retired U.S. Army Pfc. Billy Demby coached Team Marine Corps in the wheelchair basketball competition at the 2015 Warrior Games at Quantico, Virginia. In 2018, Team Army invited Demby to coach once again at the 2018 Warrior Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado. After hugging several of his players and their family members he summed up the experience in just a few words and a smile.
"This is great. Just one word, great."