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Local coach inducted into National Wheelchair Basketball Association Hall of Fame

2015 NWBA Hall of Fame - Coach LeeGrand Rapids, Mich. – Wheelchair basketball player and coach Lee Montgomery, 57, of Grand Rapids, has been inducted into the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Hall of Fame in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Montgomery, who was born with limb differences, has been affiliated with Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital since he received his first prosthetics at the age of 5. At 14, he saw his first wheelchair basketball game and has been playing or coaching wheelchair sports ever since.

Montgomery won a gold medal for wheelchair basketball in the 1990 Pan American Games and played sitting volleyball in four Paralympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992 and 1996). In 1993, he ranked 10th in the U.S. among wheelchair tennis players. He was inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in 2006 and continues to be the only wheelchair athlete among those honored.

“He gets people excited and motivated about wheelchair sports,” says Maria Besta, manager of Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports, which runs the wheelchair sports programs. Currently, Montgomery coaches the Junior Pacers and Adult Pacers in wheelchair basketball.

The induction ceremony took place during the NWBA National Championships in Louisville, Ky.

Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, nationally accredited, rehabilitation hospital. For 124 years, Mary Free Bed has restored hope and freedom through rehabilitation for children and adults who have experienced brain injuries, strokes, spinal cord injuries, multiple traumas, amputations, cancer and other diagnoses. The combination of comprehensive services and an exclusive focus on rehabilitation enables specialty physicians and staff to help patients achieve outstanding clinical results. For additional information, visit www.maryfreebed.com.

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