2014 Warrior Games

Never Give Up: Army Wheelchair Basketball Athletes Live by the Warrior Creed

October 1, 2014

By Anna Eisenberg,
WCT Communications Division

Retired U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Alexander Shaw, Clarksville, Tenn., a member of the Army team, breaks away during the Army's first wheelchair basketball game for the 2014 Warrior Games at the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Colorado Springs, Colo., Sept. 30, 2014. More than 200 service members and Veterans participate in the 2014 Warrior Games, an annual event where wounded, ill and injured compete in various Paralympic events.
U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cameron Leto

Colorado Springs, Colorado – “The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender,” a Vince Lombardi quote, hangs embossed on one of many plaques that dot the gym at the Olympic Training Center Sports Center One. The National Anthem rang out crisp and clear, electrifying the famous football coach’s words. This was the calm before the storm—the moments before the Army wheelchair basketball team took the court against Navy at the 2014 Warrior Games.

Wheelchairs dancing, wheels spinning, hugging the curves of the court as the five Army athletes squared off against the five Sailors. The spectators pulsed with energy, many of them Warrior Games athletes themselves.

“Motivation” is why Spc. James Taylor came to cheer on the Army wheelchair basketball team. Competing in track, field and sitting volleyball, Taylor draws inspiration from athletes participating in other sports. “Motivation. A lot of these guys out there, these guys show it, that creed we all stand by: never give up.”

Motivation drew Capt. Christine Haywood, the executive officer at the Fort Carson Warrior Transition Battalion, to the game as well. “The main reason I came tonight was for these two,” she nodded at her six and nine year old daughters. I want to show them that whatever happens it doesn’t mean that your life or your career are over,” she said.

Sports Center One echoed with screams as the Army team closed the game with a 37-30 point win over Navy. Army plays the Marine Corps today for a chance to advance to the championship game.