There’s a new sports team in town! Los Rolling Rockies, Puerto Peñasco’s own wheelchair basketball team, has been practicing at the Municipal Gym every Sunday for the past two months and is now preparing for their first tournament to be held in Navojoa on the weekend of July 14th – 15th. Unanimously voted team captain Francisco Bercovich (at least for our interview) tells RockyPoint360 though they have only been practicing for two months, plans to put together such a team have been alive for nearly 2 years as team members tried to get support to help pull everything together. Now, with help from individuals such as Peñasco residents Barb and Mark Olszewski, and Martin Martinez (who is planning a Taco & Beer fundraiser for July 20th), the Rolling Rockies are quite simply on a roll and just welcomed the donation of new basketballs from “Crazy John Shotcaller” Monteiro and John Tsaninos of MADC Entertainment, LLC. The MADC Entertainment crew, along with guests DJ Slippe and DJ Looney, were in town on July 6th to present equipment to Los Rolling Rockies, as well as to Rick Busa of the Youth Sports Foundation, following their “Sponsor a Ball” fundraiser in Arizona. The donation included more than 18 balls (basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, and even a few dodge balls it appeared), along with Frisbees, and water bottles.
The Rolling Rockies currently consist of team members Ulises Palma, Manuel Bustillos, Francisco Bercovich, Luis Trujillo, and Jesus Vasquez. Plus, for the upcoming Sonora-Sinaloa tournament in Navajoa (July 14th – 15th) the team will be joined by Peñasco native Florencio Gonzalez – now residing in Alamos – who already has 15 years of professional wheelchair basketball experience to his credit.
The team also includes coaches Renato Molina and Mark Olszewski. Bercovich explains the team is open to both men and women with disabilities, and ideally they would like to have about 10 members on the team. He adds the team and supporters are pursuing steps to become an IAP (Public Assistance Institution) in order to work on their principal goal, beyond basketball, of furthering the well-being of the disabled throughout the community. The name of the IAP will be confirmed soon and, Bercovich added, in some way will allude to Sonora’s Law 186 for those with disabilities. They hope to expand the group’s influence in the area of athletic offerings for individuals with disabilities with sports such as weight-lifting or swimming, while also working to ensure access to public spaces, confronting discrimination, providing different types of equipment for the disabled, and simply raising awareness within the community in general about individuals with disabilities.
Inducted team member and coach Mark Olszewski explains Los Rolling Rockies have received tremendous support over the past month and currently has 3 of its own basketball wheelchairs, and 2 more on loan from a Navojoa team. He indicated they have received support from Barclin gas station (Circle K on the North side of town), who will be providing team uniforms, plus of course the recent donation of new basketballs from MADC Entertainment. He noted additional needs currently include more wheelchairs equipped for wheelchair basketball, sports towels, and assistance with transportation costs for upcoming games. Mark tells us he will be traveling with the Rolling Rockies on July 13th for their participation in the Sonora-Sinaloa Wheelchair League tournament in Navojoa. Bercovich adds the Sonora-Sinaloa League is already well underway for the year, and Los Rolling Rockies are looking to formally join it in January.
For more information on Los Rolling Rockies, contact Francisco Bercovich (completely bilingual) at cell: 638 112-9964, or Mark Olszewski: 638 109 1171 (firstname.lastname@example.org), find them on Facebook: Rolling Rockies Wheelchair Basketball , and soon they’ll be up online at: www.rollingrockies.org Or, you can drop by practice on Sundays at the Municipal Gym from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. (take water for sure!!). Plus, plan to attend the Taco and Beer Fundraiser for the Rolling Rockies on Friday, July 20th, at Terramar Restaurant (near the Fonatur Marina – by the harbor) from 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. cover $100 pesos.