Namine has shown improvement in her first week back to basketball.

The new year in basketball practice started a few weeks ago, but we hadn’t been able to attend until this past weekend. When we arrived, the sports wheelchairs still hadn’t been unlocked. Namine didn’t mind; she practiced her laps and shooting hoops in her everyday wheelchair.

In chasing down a basketball, Namine discovered something new. She could reach the floor! She’s never been able to do that before; now she could retrieve the ball herself, instead of having to ask someone else to do it for her.

Much of the practice was more of the same, which is a good thing. Repetition, repetition, repetition — mostly in the form of laps, small group passing, and throwing the ball into the basket.

Something not done very often was a strength-building exercise for which I don’t have an official name. Let’s call it “caterpillar laps,” because one person wheeled, while one or more others hung on the back of their chair. The last time Namine participated, she had a difficult time hanging on, to say nothing of dragging people and their chairs behind her.

If I had any doubts of Namine’s increased strength, they would have been dispelled. Trailing one of her peers, she still maintained a good portion of her speed. Trailing two people (and one of them an adult), she still kept a pretty good pace.

Practice ended with a few games. Sharks & Minnows is always a favorite of Namine’s, and they ended the day with a scrimmage.