Raymond Hennagir III: Corporal Punishment

On the Gold Medal winning Lima 2019 Team USA Wheelchair Rugby team, their players dished out pain to all the other teams through the bumps, bruises and hits that are hard enough to flip their opponents out of their chairs. However, the punishment went Corporal after Raymond Hennagir III  joined the team.

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Hennagir takes the ball to the goal on August 27, 2019 (PHOTO CREDIT: Michael A. Clubine)

Using his full title, U.S. Marine Cpl. Raymond Hennagir III (retired), is easy to spot. He’s a skinny dude with tattoos all over his body and a cornrow haircut, that he gets done before every tournament that the team plays in down his home of Arlington, Texas. 

He has two fingers missing from the accident he had on On June 16, 2007, but he can pack a wallop with his wheelchair. Hennagir also lost both of his legs as a result of an IED accident near Zion in the Middle East. He was inspecting a house that intel said there were weapons in. While waiting for reinforcements, Raymond went searching through the house, looking for a third unexploded device. That’s when he found it…the unfortunate way. 

Hennagir was born on July 25, 1986 in Fayetville, North Carolina, making him 33 years old. He with his parents James and Donna, as well as his six brothers and two sisters moved to Deptford, New Jersey. A suburb close to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“It was fun, we spent a lot of time outside, hanging out in the park,” Hennagir recalls, “It was either outside, swimming outside just hanging out with friends, playing hockey a lot.”

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Raymond Hennagir III gets his minutes in vs. Canada in the Gold Medal match on August 27, 2019. (PHOTO CREDIT: Michael A. Clubine)

After graduation from Deptford High School in 2004, where he wrestled on the wrestling team, Hennagir decided to join the United States Marine Corps. The rest from there is history. 

After the accident and being medically discharged from the military, through 2 years of rehab, Raymond started to pick himself up through the help of the game of Wheelchair basketball, which ultimately started his Wheelchair Rugby career. 

“I was playing wheelchair basketball for 11 or 12 years and coach Gumbert saw me and I was playing for the University of Texas and their basketball team. Coach Gumbert pulled me aside and introduced ourselves and explained who he was. He told me that he would like me to come out and play some rugby, because he thought that I was good enough for the team. I came to a couple practices and I started to like it. Then I started to play for the Austin team, The Texas Stampede. In a matter of months and then I ended up on Team USA and that was just a matter of months ago.”

Even though he just started with the team, Hennagir treasures his experience with Team USA and playing the game itself saying,

“I love it, I really do.” he continued,“…And The honor to represent the country, I know that I had to be there.”

 Whether it’s taking the ball to the house in wheelchair rugby or sinking it from downtown in wheelchair basketball , Cpl. Raymond Hennagir III is always ready to take on any and all challenges and challengers. 

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