Breaking new ground in collegiate adaptive sports

The University of Michigan is poised to initiate a top-flight adaptive sports program with an initial focus on wheelchair basketball.  Our goal: Lead our state and nation by embracing diversity and providing new opportunities to student-athletes with disabilities. 

Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, stands in a standing wheel chair with his back to the camera. He is surrounded by wheel chair basketball players in a gym.

Our vision includes attracting talented student-athletes with disabilities who seek to compete at the highest levels, including the Paralympic Games. 

Dr. Oluwaferanmi Okanlami poses in his wheel chair in front of the U-M Medical School. He is wearing a white physician's coat.
Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, M.D., M.S.

Oluwaferanmi Okanlami, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation, is leading the effort and knows firsthand the benefits of adaptive sports. A former academic All-American athlete himself, he graduated from U-M Medical School in 2011 before acquiring a spinal cord injury in 2013. He knows the feeling of being able to proudly represent your institution both in and out of the classroom, and now draws on his own experience to inform his work with patients and students in his efforts to reduce health disparities for individuals with physical hurdles. 

While the University is beginning a therapeutic adaptive sports program through the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (U-MAISE) and hosts an annual Army-Navy Wheelchair basketball game, this is the first effort to engage elite student-athletes with disabilities. 

Your contribution will be an investment in the well-being, individuality, and dignity of all who learn, work and heal at U-M. Gifts will be used to purchase adaptive equipment, create adaptive spaces and facilities, recruit faculty members to implement the vision, support research on the impact of adaptive sports, and provide scholarships for student-athletes.

Support the U-M Adaptive Sports Program

For more information on naming opportunities, please contact Amy St. Amour, astamour@umich.edu