Posted on September 13, 2022

MFB Camp Instructor Competes with Team USA in World Championship

Gabe Den Braber, a 22-year-old from Grand Rapids, is competing with Team USA at the Men’s U23 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship in Thailand. Gabe was born with spina bifida, a condition in which the spinal cord didn’t form properly and has affected his lower limbs and his ability to walk.

In 2014, when Gabe was 14, he was introduced to wheelchair basketball at Mary Free Bed’s Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp. That sparked his basketball career. Gabe joined the Mary Free Bed Pacers and went on to win a national championship in 2017 and the NIT championship in 2018. Gabe also won a scholarship to play college wheelchair basketball at Illinois.

This year, he made the roster to represent Team USA at the World Championship in Thailand. Despite a rigorous training schedule, Gabe still makes time to come back to the camp where it all started. Every summer he returns not as a camper but as an instructor and mentor. His story inspires young campers ages 7 – 18, who come together to experience a five-day week of sports opportunities for youth with various physical disabilities.

Gabe and Team USA’s Men U23 team are currently in the quarterfinals of the IWBF World Championship in Phuket, Thailand. Earlier today they beat Australia, 61 – 58, to advance out of the group stage and into the knock-out rounds.

The USA will face Turkey in the quarterfinals on Thursday, September 14, at 1 pm local Thailand time (UTC +7). Local night owls can stream the action live right here at 2 am ET!