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Last week, under the leadership of Joey Hoenig, HAFTR’s Director of Athletics, the HAFTR Hawks sponsored a visit to the Five Towns by two representatives from the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled, for an exhibition game and to educate HAFTR students, families, and members of the community about the organization.

The National Executive Director of the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled, Jennifer Flink, and the East Coast Director, Beth Grafman, introduced two stars of the Israel National Wheelchair Basketball team, Asael Shabo and Shay Barbibay. Both men shared their stories of how they ended up in a wheelchair, and how the Israel Sports Center for the Disabled gave them renewed hope and goals to achieve.

Then came the excitement! Asael and Shay put on a demonstration displaying the differences between traditional basketball and wheelchair basketball. Asael chose a few volunteers from the bleachers, representing HAFTR students from elementary school, middle school, and high school, to highlight his impressive skills. The crowd was engaged the entire time, and truly blown away by the drive and accomplishments of these two men.

“We gained a new appreciation for our ability to use our legs, while learning and seeing firsthand how much they have accomplished with their disabilities. They showed us that nothing should limit us, and we can achieve anything we put our minds to, no matter the obstacles put in front of us. It was really inspirational and amazing to watch,” shared HAFTR High School seniors Jessie Kornblum and Eliana Lazar.