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Way to Go! Bohemia fourth-grader excels in wheelchair basketball

Emma D'Antonio, a fourth-grader at John Pearl Elementary

Emma D'Antonio, a fourth-grader at John Pearl Elementary School in Bohemia, was recently recognized at National Wheelchair Basketball Championships. Credit: Connetquot School District

A Bohemia girl has been recognized for her participation in this past summer's wheelchair basketball championships.

Emma D'Antonio, a fourth-grader at John Pearl Elementary School, was diagnosed three years ago with acute flaccid myelitis, a rare condition that affects the spinal cord.

D’Antonio has excelled and recently placed third in the 13-and-under division of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Championships in Kansas as part of the New York Rolling Fury team, which she joined last year. She was the only team member from Suffolk County and was named one of the tournament's Academic High Achievers.

Emma, 9, also participates in sled ice hockey, wheelchair tennis and wheelchair racing.

"I love to play different sports because I really love to play and be active," Emma said. "They are really fun."

Emma's other activities include appearing last month in a fashion show coordinated by Runway of Dreams Foundation as part of New York Fashion Week, where she modeled adaptive clothing designed for individuals with disabilities.

She has also appeared in an educational video for Accessible Activities, a local organization that provides activities for children of all abilities.

"For her to be able to do all these things in such a short period of time is such an inspiration to me," said Emma's mother, Valerie.

— MICHAEL R. EBERT

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