GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With basketball season now upon us, one West Michigan hospital is making sure anyone who uses a wheelchair has a chance to compete in the sport by hosting a tournament this weekend.

Mary Free Bed Hospital hosts the Mary Free Bed Invitational Adult Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, affiliated with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.

This is also the first time Mary Free Bed has had an all-female team. Program organizers said the large turnout made it an easy decision to create one.

“There’s something really empowering about the women’s team. We have two girls from the junior varsity team, so they are high school girls. The youngest is 15, up to 60. We have quite a range of ages and we have people from other programs playing with us,” said Christy VanHaver of Mary Free Bed Hospital for Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports.

Teams from at least four US states and Canada participate in the tournament. The winner will qualify for the national tournament in Kansas in April.

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