Number one ranked Arizona Mens Wheelchair Basketball hosted teams from around the country today but that’s not all. The program retired its first jersey in history in honor of Rudy Gallego.

Tucson native Rudy Gallego was instrumental in the start of the Adaptive Athletics program 50 years ago.

The Vietnam veteran lost his legs in battle and turned to wheelchair basketball.

He was one of the original athletes in the Adaptive Athletics program at UA. Gallego also started the juniors active in wheelchair sports program.

He passed away in November of 2023 and tonight was honored as the first jersey retired in the UA Wheelchair Basketball program.

Its a cool honor, we just wish he was here to do it,” Gallego’s son, Rudy Gallego said. “I think as a family we want it more than he does because he never really wanted the spotlight. He wasnt really a guy big on the spotlight, he was more about everybody else.

Gallego will also be inducted into the UA Adaptive Athletics Hall of Fame in April.



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