Wheelchairs Can Jump! – The Definitive History of Wheelchair Basketball


Tracing 65 Years of Extraordinary Paralympic and World Championship Performances

Wheelchairs Can Jump! – The Definitive History of Wheelchair Basketball

Tracing 65 Years of Extraordinary Paralympic and World Championship Performances

Boston, MA (November 2011) Wheelchair basketball: It’s arguably one of the biggest, most popular, and most competitive sports for athletes with disabilities in the world. Yet, for an international level sport that’s existed for over sixty years, fans are only now being treated to the true depth of its rich history. Acanthus Publishing announces the publication and release of Wheelchairs Can Jump! Tracing 65 Years of Extraordinary Paralympic and World Championship Performances (Acanthus Publishing 2011), the new, authoritative history of wheelchair basketball written by two of the most influential men in the history of the game.

From the evolution of tactics, rules, player classification, and equipment to the thrilling Paralympic and World Championship competitions that have taken place around the world, Wheelchairs Can Jump! chronicles every aspect of the development of wheelchair basketball from its infancy to its modern-day incarnation. Drawing on their passion for the game and their experience as players, coaches, and journalists, authors Stan
Labanowich, Ph.D. and Armand "Tip" Thiboutot, Ph.D. have crafted the most comprehensive history of the game that spawned a variety of other sports for athletes with disabilities, from tennis to rugby (the latter of which has gained popular and critical acclaim in the documentary film Murderball).

Wheelchairs Can Jump! features a comprehensive 500-plus page compilation of team rosters and statistics from every major international competition since the 1960 Rome Paralympic Games, the first in which wheelchair basketball was played. Additionally it offers dynamic summaries and highlights of every major international medal match played at the World Championships (formerly the Gold Cup) and the Paralympic Games.

With extensive commentary and input from numerous authorities in the field, Labanowich and Thiboutot have provided insight into the major developments in the sport’s tactics, rules, and equipment, complete with color diagrams and figures. They even show readers the history and physics of how wheelchairs really did come to be able to "jump" on-court, a move pioneered by Australian great Troy Sachs.

Publisher Paige Stover-Hague, who serves as CEO of Acanthus Publishing, worked in full partnership with the authors to bring this definitive reference guide to the market for newcomers to the sport and diehard fans alike. "Stan and Tip are two of the most respected and well known figures in the world of wheelchair basketball, and you can see why," says Stover-Hague. "The scope of their research is so grand, their attention to every detail so fine, that it’s impossible not to see the passion that drives them. This book is truly a labor of love: for the players, for the fans, for themselves, and most of all for everyone who has yet to discover this fascinating and exciting sport."

Stan Labanowich and Tip Thiboutot dedicated their careers to the advancement of wheelchair basketball. Now they’ve brought the sport’s rich, 60-plus-year history to life, from its humble beginnings at a California VA hospital to the World Championships in Birmingham, England, in Wheelchairs Can Jump! Offering unparalleled detail and an extensive bibliography, this book is sure to become the go-to reference guide for the world of wheelchair basketball.

For more information see www.wheelchairscanjump.com.



About the Authors

Stan Labanowich (deceased)

A legendary advocate of democratic government for wheelchair basketball, Stan Labanowich coached the USA men’s team to the Paralympic gold medal in Heidelberg, Germany in 1972. From 1976 to 1988 he served as chairman of the Basketball Sub-Committee of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation (ISMGF), the forerunner of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF). He also served as the elected commissioner of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) from 1973 to 1995.

Stan wrote extensively on sports for individuals with disabilities as a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and Health Promotion at the University of Kentucky from 1975 to 2004. In 1998 he published two books for young adults: Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Track Events, both published by RiverFront Books.

Armand "Tip" Thiboutot

Armand "Tip" Thiboutot was introduced to wheelchair basketball in the mid-1960s after incurring a spinal cord injury while serving in the United States Army. In addition to playing and coaching for more than forty years, Tip extended his influence through his analytical writings in Sports ‘n Spokes and the IWBF’s Basketball News – both widely-read journals that serve the population of wheelchair sports in the USA and abroad.

His influence in the development of the sport has also been felt through his elected offices, specifically as vice president of both the NWBA and the IWBF from the late 1970s to 2002. He edited the IWBF Newsletter from 1988 until his retirement in 2002, publishing articles and issuing reports on technical matters dealing with coaching, player classification, rules, and organization of the sport.