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Courage Center Hosts College Scholarship Signing Ceremony Thursday, April 9, 2009

Event highlights accomplishments of three highly recruited adapted sports athletes

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Minneapolis-based rehabilitation and resource center Courage Center has had a history of developing talented, nationally and internationally recognized athletes in adapted sports such as wheelchair basketball and rugby. On Thursday, April 9, at 6 p.m., three local high school seniors will sign college letters of intent in the Gym at Courage Center Golden Valley. All three are co-captains of the national champion Jr. Rolling Timberwolves wheelchair basketball team. All three were heavily recruited by national colleges for both sports and academic achievement. They are:

  • Chuck Aoki, Minneapolis South High School. Aoki is one of the top student athletes in the country and was recently named to the 2009 USA Wheelchair Rugby National Team. Aoki was named Second Team-All Tournament at the recent National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) tournament in Denver, Colo. He has been accepted to the University of Arizona to play wheelchair rugby, after being offered multiple academic and athletic scholarships from colleges across the nation.
  • Connor Downes, Rosemount High School. Downes is ranked among the top big men in wheelchair basketball in the country. Connor's family moved to Texas in 2007, but he returned to Minnesota to finish high school with his classmates and play for the Jr. Rolling Timberwolves. Downes was named Player of the Game in this year's NWBA championship game. He is expected to sign with the University of Missouri on a wheelchair basketball scholarship.
  • Ben Kenyon, Minnetonka High School, is a standout on the basketball court and also competes in track and field and swimming. Ben was MVP of the Courage Center Jr. Rolling Timberwolves in 2008, as well as MVP of the national championship tournament game the past two years. He is ranked one of the top three prep wheelchair basketball players in the nation. He recently returned from Beijing, China, where he was a participant in the Paralympic Academy. He is undecided, but is being recruited by the University of Arizona, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, and the University of Missouri.

About Courage Center:

Courage Center is a nonprofit rehabilitation and resource center that advances the lives of children and adults experiencing barriers to health and independence. At Courage Center, we specialize in treating brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke, chronic pain, autism, and disabilities experienced since birth. Founded in 1928, Minneapolis-based Courage Center offers advanced technologies and innovation provided in part through the efforts of thousands of volunteers and donors. For more information visit

    Contact:  Sue Warner, Courage Center, 763-520-0263

SOURCE Courage Center
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