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Phoenix health club adds stand-up basketball for leg amputees

PHOENIX — A Valley health club that helps people with disabilities is encouraging amputee basketball players to leave behind their wheelchairs.

At the Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center near 51st and Washington streets, the players have the opportunity to actually stand to shoot hoops.

“There’s a variety of different type of prosthetic legs that allow people to run, said Gus LaZear, the club’s general manager. “They might be a special type of prosthetic. They might not be their everyday leg. It might be a special support leg that will allow them to play sports.”

As of 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the center is offering Amputee Stand up Basketball.

“There’s a program in the country called the ‘Amp1.’ They’re looking to start a national program where they will have a stand up amputee league in each city, and they will start to compete against each other,” LaZear said. “We are going to start a program here to host one of those city teams.”

Games will be played Wednesday evenings starting Oct. 15.