Wheelchair Basketball Team Honors News 5 Staff Member

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(WKRG) — Mobile’s wheelchair basketball team honored one of our own here at News 5 over the weekend.

One of our producers passed away this summer after nearly a decade’s battle with cancer. Katie Hammond was very special to us and she was also special to the Mobile Patriots—the wheelchair basketball team here in town. They made a point of honoring her at Saturday’s game.

The wheelchair basketball game Saturday meant just a little bit more to those watching in the stands. Saturday, the Mobile Patriots debuted this specialty wheelchair that bears the name of Katie Hammond: Former News 5 producer, cancer fighter, and wheelchair basketball enthusiast.

“I don’t know how or why she had that interest, but it was something that automatically made me love her because it was certainly an interest of mine and these guys, this chair, this donated chair that she did in her memory, it’s such a wonderful thing for our team,” says Johnson.

Stephenie Johnson is not only the coach of the Mobile Patriots, she’s also Katie Hammond’s godmother.

“I wasn’t so sure if Katie was taking care of me or I was taking care of her! She was so bright, so full of life and love,” says Johnson.

Those in the crowd today included her parents, Carolyn and Warren.

“She loved the team, she loved Stephenie and we’re very proud of all of that and we miss Katie a lot,” says Warren Hammond.

Number 32, Daytona Williams was in command of her chair Saturday, and did a fantastic job. Now, they hope to go all the way to Nationals.

“We will have Katie Hammond riding with us throughout this ball season which ends in April in Louisville, Kentucky where we will be performing in Nationals. Katie, thank you very much!”

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