Basketballer heals fast for national win

Cambridge’s Maioro Barton (fourth from left) and the Waikato A team won the National Wheelchair Basketball Champs. Picture – Kiefer Davies.

Maioro Barton has returned to the court better than ever after breaking his hand during the Whangarei round of the Northern League Wheelchair Basketball Champs in June.

The Cambridge basketballer played on for a game and a half with a broken metacarpal bone, securing his team’s place at Nationals.

He had just four weeks to prepare for the national championships once he was allowed back on court, but his hard work paid off when the Waikato A team won the competition overall, and won every game in the process.

“It was so good to be back playing on the court after breaking my hand,” Maioro said.

“My physio told me that I probably did more damage to my initial injury because I continued playing the game with it broken.

Photo – Kiefer Davies.

“I had to be smart with my training so that I didn’t injure myself again, but still push myself hard enough so that I could be ready for Nationals.”

After five weeks of limited, controlled training, Maioro received the all-clear to return to training with his team in late August.

“I still had to wear a brace on my hand still to protect it because the X-rays showed it hadn’t fully healed yet,” he said. “The initial healing was a tough time for me because I was unable to do any physical activity, I even struggled to wheel myself up hills. For someone who is usually so active with training and being out and about it was really tough mentally.

“It was so awesome to be back on the court again doing what I love to do.”

Barton played every minute of the final, which saw Waikato beat Auckland A 48-33.

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