On the Afternoon of May 25th, the Afghanistan Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team won its first game! Six games into our trip, the team finally put all its hard work to full use in defeating the team from Cinisello by one point in a game that aged its poor coach by about 10 years. Shahpoor swished a pair of free throws with 45 seconds to play to give the Afghans a three point lead before the Italians scored inside to cut the margin to one. The Afghans made a final defensive stand to hold onto the victory and, as the final buzzer sounded, I breathed for the first time in what felt like hours. Congratulations to the team on such a great achievement!
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Mojeeb scores in the team’s game against Torino (photo by David Constantine)

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The team celebrates its first victory along with the coaches and Afghanistan Paralympic Committee representative, Abdul Husain Hesary  (back right) – Photo by Michael Glowacki

The morning after notching its first win, the team was rewarded by a visit at practice by U.S. National Team player and member of Italian League champions Briantea84, Brian Bell. It was a fantastic experience for our guys to get to share the court (and learn some new techniques) from one of the top players in the world. Thanks to Brian for taking the time to meet the team!

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Brian Bell and Shahpoor line up for the opening tip