The Rebound

Like any good sports movie, The Rebound has an impressive training montage. The men push themselves to be stronger, go longer, play harder. They are fast, they are dedicated. They get up at ungodly hours to work out, and their grocery bills reflect their need to ‘feed the machine.’ But the stars of The Rebound aren’t your usual athletes.

In basketball, a rebound is when a player regains control of the ball after a shot is missed. It’s the second chance play. In the NWBA, the players contend with a different kind of rebound. It’s how a man picks himself up after a life-altering accident has left them paralyzed. The W stands for wheelchair.

This documentary follows a few key players on the Miami Heat Wheels as they push toward a national championship. But for the Wheels, it can never be as simple as playing well. Funding, for them, will always be an issue. The county gave them $2500 for the season when a trip to nationals alone will cost 11 grand. So between playing, traveling, and training, they’ll also be fund-raising.

Some of these men will discuss their accidents, and since many are a result of GSWs, they discuss, by extension, the need for gun control. Some of them are hoping to earn athletic scholarships for school. One is trying to break into the music industry. But they’re all really passionate about basketball, which is good, because when you’re strapped into a chair and careening at high-speeds on a court, the game looks brutal and dangerous. But they make it look easy. Physical, yes, but sometimes also surprisingly elegant.

Like lots of movies about sports, this documentary is about triumph over obstacles – it’s just that these athletes encounter challenges both on and off the courts.

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