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    This Week in the NWBA (Dec.2-4)

    12/01/2016, 1:15pm CST
    By NWBA

    This Week in the NWBA

    Are you ready for some more wheelchair basketball action?  With a well-deserved Thanksgiving weekend break behind us, the season has picked right back up with many competitions taking place in cities across the country. In “This Week in the NWBA,” below is the schedule of tournaments for the weekend of December 2-4, 2016:

     

    December 2-3

    College Men, College Women, Division I, Division III

    Metal and Muscle-Houston, TX

    College Men

    Intercollegiate Tournament- Columbia, MO

     

    December 3

    Prep Division, Varsity Division

    Jr. Bulls Bash- Addison, IL

     

    December 3-4 

    Division I

    Bill and Julie Duncan Memorial Wheelchair- Milpitas, AK

    Prep Division, Varsity Division, Division I

    Seattle Jam- Seattle, WA

    Women, Division II, Division III

    2nd Annual Mary Free Bed Invitational-Grand Rapids, MI

    Prep Division, Varsity Division

    Bennett Blazers Weekend of Games- Baltimore, MD

     

    Good luck to all the teams playing this weekend!

     

     

    2016 Kitakyushu Champions Cup - RESULTS

    11/30/2016, 8:00am CST
    By NWBA

    KITAKYUSHU, JAPAN – Team USA finished with a 2-3 record and fourth place finish at the 13th Kitakyush Champions’ Cup. Team USA improved on a 0-5 record and fourth place finish from this event in 2015. The countries represented in this competition included Japan, Australia and Great Britain.

    The rosters for the opposing countries were a strong representation of anticipated rosters for the 2017 U23 World Championships in Toronto, Canada. Athletes in attendance from the 2016 Rio Paralympics included Tom O’Neil-Thorne of Australia (3.0), Gregg Warburton of Great Britain (2.0), Renshi Chokai of Japan (2.0) and Naohiro Murakami of Japan (4.0).

    The tournament started for Team USA with a friendly match against the Kyushu Eagles of the Japanese Professional Wheelchair Basketball League. Kyushu provided a tough matchup for Team USA in a game that had 12 lead changes. Team USA secured a 55-53 victory by out rebounding Kyushu 35-18, Team USA was led by Jorge Salazar of National City, CA with 15 boards. Salazar also led Team USA offensively with 14 points and six assists. Other contributors for Team USA include Dustin Casey of Bothell, WA with 14 points/8 rebounds/5 assists and Jon Fagre of Eagan, MN with 12 points/1 rebound/1 assist. Yuki Tachikawa led Kyushu shooting overall FG% of 56.5% with 27 points, three assist and two rebounds.

    For Team USA, the 13th Kitakyushu Champions’ Cup pool play started against host nation Japan. Team USA played Japan tough until an 18-5 run by Japan to end the first half. Efficient shooting by Japan was too much for Team USA to overcome losing to Japan 65-47. The speed and full court press by Japan generated 21 turnovers by Team USA. Salazar and Matt Bollig of Columbia, MO led the way offensively for Team USA: Salazar with 18 points/14 rebounds/3 assists and Bollig with 11 points/4 assists/1 rebound. Leaders on offense for Japan were Takuya Furusawa with 22 points on an overall FG % of 76.9% and Naohiro Murakami with 16 points on an overall FG % of 61.5%.

    The second game of pool play for Team USA was against Australia. Team USA was very efficient offensively in the first half, which led to a half time lead of 34-22. Despite scoring only five points in the fourth quarter and Australia finishing the game on an 11-5 run, Team USA was able to hold on to a 56-50 victory. Team USA took care of the basketball limiting their turnovers to 14. Salazar again led Team USA with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists. Australia was led by O’Neil-Thorne with 24 points and Jake Fulwood with 14 points. Team USA distributed the ball well with 16 total assists and five players scoring at least six points.

    The final day of competition started with Team USA playing basically a “play-in” game with Great Britain for the gold medal game, with both teams having a 1-1 record thus far in pool play. Team USA started slow being down as much as 15 points, though finished the first half down 33-22. Ball security and a poor shooting performance led to a 62-41 loss for Team USA. Team USA finished the game with a tournament-high 24 turnovers. Additionally, Team USA finished the game with a tournament low team FG % of 32.1%. Salazar was the only player from Team USA with more than eight points finishing with an offensive line of 15 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists. Great Britain was led by Paralympian Greg Warburton with a total FG % of 72.7%, 17 points, 12 assists and 5 rebounds.

    The bronze medal game was a rematch of Team USA versus Australia. Australia started very strong offensively taking a 39-31 lead into half time. Team USA attempted to hard jump and slow the offensive explosion by O’Neil-Thorne for Australia. Unfortunately, Team USA was unable to match the offense of Australia losing 75-61. O’Neil-Thorne finished with overall FG % of 63.6%, 33 points, 17 rebounds and nine assist. Anderson Parker with 14 points and Thomas McHugh with 12 points were other contributing players for Australia. Team USA was led by Bollig with 29 points, Casey with 18 points and Zachary Steger of Richardson, TX with 10 points. Australia finished with a team FG % of 59.3%, Team USA finished with 37.5%. Australia out rebounded Team USA 49-23, this was the only game of the tournament that Team USA was out rebounded.                                                                                                             

    Team USA Head Coach Doug Dixon of Prior Lake, MN served in his first international coaching experience. Dixon was the 2016 NWBA Junior Division Coach of the Year and, as head coach, two time winner of the NWBA Junior Division Varsity National Championship. Dixon has 20 years of coaching experience and currently is the head coach of the Courage Kenny Jr. Rolling Timberwolves.

    Joining Dixon on the sidelines as assistant coach was AJ Messmer of Whitewater, WI. Emily Dixon of Columbia, MO served as Statistician. Brandon McBeain served as NWBA staff and Team Leader. The remaining athletes on Team USA are Grady Gordon of Saint Louis Park, MN, Holden Kowalke of Shorewood, MN, Thomas Duffy of Ottawa, IL and Robert Doyle of Eden Prairie, MN. 

    Since 2003, the NWBA has fielded six teams for the Kitakyushu Champions’ Cup. Team USA also attended in 2005 (finished 2nd place) and 2007 (finished 3rd place). The Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks attended in 2010 (finished 3rd place) and in 2012 (finished 3rd place).

    The Kitakyushu Champions’ Cup commemorates the 2002 Gold Cup World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Kitakyushu.

    Team USA appreciates the service and accommodations provided by the city of Kitakyushu, organizing committee and Japan Wheelchair Basketball Federation. Team USA also appreciates the great competition of the Japanese Professional Wheelchair Basketball League, Australia, Great Britain and Japan.

    13th Kitakyushu Champions’ Cup
    Kitakyushu, Japan


    Friendly Match
    Team USA defeated Kitakyushu Eagles,

    Pool Play
    Day 1 – Link to Video Stream
    (00:20:00 start of Team USA vs. Japan)
    Japan defeated Team USA, 65-47
    Great Britain defeated Australia, 59-47

    Day 2 – Link to Video Stream
    (02:05:00 start of Team USA vs. Australia)
    Japan defeated Great Britain, 59-32
    Team USA defeated Australia, 56-50

    Day 3 – Link to Video Stream
    (02:40:00 start of Bronze Medal Game; no stream available for GBR vs. Team USA)
    Japan defeated Australia, 52-48
    Great Britain defeated Team USA, 62-41

    Bronze Medal Game
    Australia defeated Team USA, 75-61

    Gold Medal Game
    Japan defeated Great Britain, 59-47

     

    During this special time of year it is fitting to acknowledge #GivingTuesday, a day where many open their hearts and pockets to supporting a worthy cause.  We hope that on this special day you will consider giving to the National Wheelchair Basketball Association.  

    The NWBA provides people of all ages and backgrounds with physical disabilities the opportunity to play wheelchair basketball in a competitive setting.

    Each day and especially today we celebrate all those within the organization committed to providing opportunities for our athletes at all levels from our Junior Division straight through to our Adults and U.S. Paralympic teams to thrive and prosper through the transformative power of wheelchair basketball.

    When asked how the NWBA has impacted their lives, here are some of the responses elicited by our Junior athletes:

    “Growing up I never thought I could be a part of a sport.  This just shows people you can.  Not only has the NWBA changed my life but it has opened so many opportunities.  Through playing wheelchair basketball, I have been able to travel around the country and play many teams.  With playing all these teams you become close to many of the people. When you’re out on that court you don’t feel different from everyone else.”

    “I never thought I would go to college to play basketball or try out for a national team.  Because of the NWBA I could do both of those. I love the competitive side of the NWBA. I also love the family side.”

    “In wheelchair basketball, we are all thought of as athletes, and no one is the “outsider”.”

    “The NWBA has taught me that no matter what your disability is you can achieve whatever your heart desires.”

    Your support of the NWBA will aid in furthering our athletes along on their own personal journey through the sport. You will help fuel the passion, drive, hard work and dedication of our athletes. You will support our coaches, volunteers, officials and the many volunteers that strive to provide a top rate wheelchair basketball experience with immeasurable long-lasting positive benefits.

    Please consider making the National Wheelchair Basketball Association one of the deserving organizations on your list! 

    We thank you for your support!

    https://nwba.sportngin.com/register/form/118071120

     

     

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The NWBA Adult Division announced its 2016-17 Pre-Season Rankings for all three divisions. The defending Division I Champion Dallas Mavericks return in the No. 1 slot and look to defend its title at the 2017 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical in Louisville, Kentucky, March 30-April 2. The Mavericks return with several key players, including 2016 Paralympic gold medalist Aaron Gouge. 

    The New York Rolling Knicks are the second-ranked squad in Division I, as they will have 2016 Paralympic gold medalist and Team USA co-captain Steve Serio making his appearance this season. The Milwaukee Bucks “A” team is ranked third overall, as they were the runner-ups at the 2016 NWBT.

    In Division II, the newest NWBA Adult Division, the Milwaukee WASA Bucks come in at the No. 1 ranked favorite, with San Antonio ParaSport Spurs as the No. 2 ranked team.

    The LWSRA Hawks earned the No. 1 ranking for the NWBA D-III teams, with the Arakansas Rollin’ Razorbacks and Rancho Renegades anchoring the No. 2 and 3 rankings, respectively.

    The top 16 ranked teams will earn an invite to the 2017 NWBT presented by ABC medical in Louisville, Kentucky, March 30-April 2. The 48 teams from the three Adult Divisions will battle it out for a coveted national title on 12 basketball courts over four days of competition.

    2016-17 NWBA Adult Division I Pre-Season Rankings

    1. Dallas Mavericks

     2.   New York Rollin’ Knicks

     3.    Milwaukee Bucks “A”

     4.    Rogue Valley Scorpions

     5.    Sacramento Rollin’ Kings

     6.    University of Arizona Wildcats (Men’s)

     7.    Albuquerque Kings   

     8.    Utah Wheelin’ Jazz  

     9.    Mary Free Bed Pacers

    10.   San Diego Wolfpack

    11.   Miami Heat Wheels

    12.   Denver Rolling Nuggets

    13.   RIC Hornets

    14.   Seattle Sonics

    15.   Houston (TIRR Hotwheels)

    16.   Shepherd Stealers

    17.   Austin Rec’ers

    18.   Courage Rolling Timberwolves

    19.   Golden State Road Warriors/ Charlottesville Cardinals

    20.   Missouri Predators/ MedStar NRH Punishers

     

    2016-17 NWBA Adult Division II Pre-Season Rankings

    1. Milwaukee WASA Bucks

    2. San Antonio ParaSport Spurs

    3. Nassau Kings

    4. Miami Valley Raptors

    5. Detroit Diehards

    6. DFW Freewheelers

    7. Cleveland Wheelchair Cavs

    8. Tampa Bay Strong Dogs

    9. Charlotte Rollin' Hornets

    10. Fayetteville Flyers

    11. Turnstone Bandits

    12. MAPVA OKC Thunder/Chargers

    13. PossAbilities Rolling Bears

    14. Shepherd Stealers

    15. Ft. Lauderdale Sharks

    16. London Forest City Flyers

    17. Music City Lightning

    18. Mobile Patriots

    19. LA Clippers Chairmen

    20. Kansas Wheelhawks

     

    2016-17 NWBA Adult Division III Pre-Season Rankings

    1. LWSRA Hawks

    2. Arkansas Rollin’ Razorbacks

    3. Rancho Renegades

    4. Las Vegas Yuccas

    5. TIRR Hotwheels

    6. Spartanburg Pistons

    7. RHI Pacers

    8. Brooks Ballers

    9. Columbus WC Basketball Club

    10. Rockford Chariots

    11. USM Golden Eagles

    12. RCRC Lightning

    13. Brooklyn Nets

    14. Seattle Sonics

    15. Orlando Magic Wheels

    16. Pittsburg Steelwheelers

    17. Rochester Wheels

    18. Portland Wheel Blazers

    19. Louisville Spokes & Spires

    20. Ft.Smith Shootin’ Stars

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – University of Missouri’s Marshall Lindsay of Stansbury Park, Utah, earned the NWBA Intercollegiate Player of the Week Honors for November 14. Lindsay’s performance for the week was recognized by the voting poll of college coaches and NWBA social network fans. 

    Lindsay, a junior at Mizzou, led the team in scoring in four games at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawk Tournament. He averaged 23.3 points per game, 7 rebounds per game, and 4.3 assists per game. In the four games, Marshall tallied 93 points.

    Also nominated for the weekly honors were, and finishing: 2. Guthrie Lindquist, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater; 3. Walter Johnson, Southwest Minnesota State University; and 4. Dave Evjen, Southwest Minnesota State University.

    Lindquist rolled the Warhawks this last weekend to a 5-0 record at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Tournament. In five games, Lindquist averaged 11 points, 13.4 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game. They were also able to avenge an opening weekend loss to Southwest Minnesota State University.

    Johnson averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds per game for the weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Tournament. He had a career high 30 points with the victory over the University of Missouri. Walter is averaging 19.5 points per game this season.

    David Evjen averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists per game for the weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Tournament. David had two triple doubles against the University of Missouri and the Canada Academy. He is averaging 19.5 points per game and 12.4 rebounds per game for the season.

    The NWBA Intercollegiate Player of the Week is determined by the NWBA college coaches by ranking the weekly nominees and accounts for 80 percent of the total points, while NWBA Facebook and Twitter fans account for the remaining 20 percent of the point total. The NWBA college coaches nominate players to the NWBA headquarters on Monday following games. Those who cast a ballot rank all players, with No. 1 votes earning 10 points, No. 2 votes earning 9 points, No. 3 earning 8 points, etc. If there is a tie, the athlete with the most No. 1 votes wins, and will continue to break the tie down to the total of No. 3 votes. If still tied after No. 3 are counted, then the players are named NWBA Intercollegiate Co-Athletes of the Week.

    2016-17 NWBA INTERCOLLEGIATE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

    October 17 - David Evjen, of Maelia, Minnesota, Southwest Minnesota State University

    October 31 – James Bohnett of San Jose, California, University of Missouri

    November 14     - Marshall Lindsay, Stansbury Park, Utah, University of Missouri

    For November 14-20

    The NWBA is proud to introduce the NWBA Intercollegiate Player of the Week. This program provides recognition to student-athletes enrolled at one of our member institutions for their achievements on the basketball court during the prior week. This program is interactive for all fans to cast their votes via the NWBA Social Networks.

    Fans are encouraged to rank the players below in the comment section, or tag the NWBA accordingly in a post. The college coaches will submit their ballots that account for 80 percent of the points, while online voting will account for the remaining 20 percent.

    Please rank the players 1-4, where #1 vote receives 10 points, #2 receives 9 points, etc. The athlete with the most points will be named 2016 NWBA Intercollegiate Player of the Week. If there is a tie, the individual with the most #1 votes wins. If still tied, then most with #2 votes wins. If tied after #3 votes are tallied, players will be named Co-Players of the Week.

    Online voting closes on Friday, October 28 at 9 a.m. Mountain. To have your online vote count, comment on the NWBA Facebook page post, or tag the NWBA on Twitter (@nwba).

    NWBA Intercollegiate Player of the Week for November 14-20, 2016

    Nominees (Alphabetical Order)

    David Evjen, Southwest Minnesota State University

    David Evjen averaged 15 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists per game for the weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Tournament. David had two triple doubles against the University of Missouri and the Canada Academy. He is averaging 19.5 points per game and 12.4 rebounds per game for the season.

    Walter Johnson, Southwest Minnesota State University

    Johnson averaged 18 points and 9 rebounds per game for the weekend at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Tournament. He had a career high 30 points with the victory over the University of Missouri. Walter is averaging 19.5 points per game this season.

    Guthrie Lindquist, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

    Guthrie Lindquist rolled the Warhawks this last weekend to a 5-0 record at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Tournament. In five games, Lindquist averaged 11 points, 13.4 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game. They were also able to avenge an opening weekend loss to Southwest Minnesota State University.

    Marshall Lindsay, University of Missouri

    Lindsay, a junior at Mizzou, led the team in scoring in every game. He averaged 23.3 points per game (93 points in 4 games), 7 rebounds per game and 4.3 assists per game. Marshall was our best player last weekend.  His statistics were very good and leadership was outstanding.

    This Week in the NWBA (Nov. 18-20)

    11/18/2016, 4:30pm CST
    By NWBA

    The weekend before Thanksgiving is upon us and with it three exciting tournaments are taking place in Wisconsin, Virginia and Utah.

    The Intercollegiate Tournament at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater features top college teams including the Canadian Development team competing for the title going up against the defending National champs, led by head coach Jeremy “Opie” Lade. The Warhawks recently welcomed Christina Schwab as head coach of the women’s team.  Christina was co-captain of the gold medal winning U.S. women’s team in Rio.

    Below is a list of all the tournaments taking place across the country.  If you are local to any of them, be sure to check out all the exciting wheelchair basketball action.  Share your photos by tagging them #NWBA.  They could be featured on the NWBA website and NWBA Facebook page.

    Good luck to all the tournament directors, teams, coaches, officials and volunteers and best wishes for a successful weekend!

    November 18-19, 2016

    College Men, College Women

    Intercollegiate Tournament- Whitewater, WI

     

    November 18-20, 2016

    Division III, Division II

    Richmond Invitational- Midlothian, VA

     

    November 19-20, 2016

    Prep Division, Varsity Division, Women’s Division, Division III

    Turkey ShootOut- Midvale, UT

     

    Cover photo: ©UW-Whitewater/Craig Schreiner

     

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – Junior varsity player Rontes “Tes” Williams of Pearl, Mississippi, was named the NWBA Junior Varsity Division Player of the Week for the week of November 7, for his play with the Mississippi WheelCats. He was recognized and voted the honor by the NWBA Junior Division coaches and team representatives, as well as NWBA social networks followers.

    Williams, who has been the Mississippi WheelCats top scorer for the past three seasons and since the team formed, maintained his dominance on the court by scoring 70 of the WheelCats’ 101 points this past weekend at the Southwest Regional Tournament in Dallas. He played like poetry in motion putting up 29 of the team’s 41 points and bringing down 29 rebounds. Tes, a high school junior, is credited with leadership ability on the court to enhance the WheelCats’ newer players leading to their success.

    The Dallas Junior Mavericks’ Tyler Buysse of Gunter, Texas, finished second in the NWBA Junior Varsity Player of the Week running. Buysse led the Junior Wheelchair Mavericks to a first-place finish at the Jim Hayes Memorial Tournament last weekend. He scored a game high 17 points and also added six rebounds and six assists. The Mavs outlasted the TIRR Hotwheels in a defensive battle for the championships, 48-39.

    The NWBA Intercollegiate Player of the Week is determined by the NWBA junior coaches by ranking the weekly nominees and accounts for 80 percent of the total points, while NWBA Facebook and Twitter fans account for the remaining 20 percent of the point total. The NWBA junior coaches nominate players to the NWBA headquarters on Monday following games. Those who cast a ballot rank all players, with No. 1 votes earning 10 points, No. 2 votes earning 9 points, No. 3 earning 8 points, etc. If there is a tie, the athlete with the most No. 1 votes wins, and will continue to break the tie down to the total of No. 3 votes. If still tied after No. 3 are counted, then the players are named NWBA Intercollegiate Co-Athletes of the Week.

    2016-17 NWBA JUNIOR VARSITY PLAYER OF THE WEEK

    October 31 – Josh Joines, Atlanta, Georgia, Blaze Sports Hawks

    November 7 – Rontes “Tes” Williams, Pearl, Mississippi, Mississippi WheelCats

    2016-17 NWBA JUNIOR PREP PLAYER OF THE WEEK

    October 31 – Preston Howell, Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte Hornets

    For the week of November 7-13

    The NWBA Junior Division Players of the Week Ballots is open – Junior Varsity and Junior Prep. This program will provide recognition to student-athletes for their achievements on the basketball court during the prior week. This new program will be interactive for all fans to cast their votes via the NWBA Social Networks. 

    Fans are encouraged to rank the players below in the comment section, or tag the NWBA accordingly in a post. The Junior Division Team Representatives and Coaches will submit their ballots that account for 80 percent of the points, while online voting will account for the remaining 20 percent.

    Please rank the players 1-2, where #1 vote receives 10 points, #2 receives 9 points, etc. The athlete with the most points will be named 2016 NWBA Junior Division Player of the Week. If there is a tie, the individual with the most #1 votes wins. If still tied, then most with #2 votes wins. If tied after #3 votes are tallied, players will be named Co-Players of the Week.

    Online voting closes on Wednesday, November 9 at 5 p.m. Mountain. To have your online vote count, comment on the NWBA Facebook page post, or tag the NWBA on Twitter (@nwba).

    NWBA Junior Player of the Week for November 7, 2016

    Nominees (Alphabetical Order)

    JUNIOR VARSITY NOMINEES (VOTE #1-2. Each athlete receives points for votes)

    Tyler Buysse, Gunter, Texas, Dallas Junior Mavericks

    Tyler Buysse led the Dallas Junior Wheelchair Mavericks to a first-place finish in the Jim Hayes Memorial Tournament this past weekend. He scored a game high 17 points and also added six rebounds and six assists. The Mavs outlasted the TIRR Hotwheels in a defensive battle for the championships, 48-39. “Tyler was an absolute force defensively, and exhibited great leadership in his team’s victory,” said TIRR Hotwheels coach Trice Ham.

    Rontes “Tes” Williams, Pearl, Mississippi, Mississippi WheelCats

    Tes Williams, who has been the Mississippi WheelCats top scorer for the past three seasons and since the team formed, maintained his dominance on the court by scoring 70 of the WheelCats’ 101 points this past weekend at the Southwest Regional Tournament in Dallas. He played like poetry in motion putting up 29 of the team’s 41 points and bringing down 29 rebounds. Tes, a high school junior, is credited with leadership ability on the court to enhance the WheelCats’ newer players leading to their success.

    The NWBA Remembers Dr. Tim Nugent, One Year Later

    11/11/2016, 11:45am CST
    By NWBA

    Dr. Timothy Nugent, who is best known as the “Father of Accessibility” and is the founder of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, passed one year ago. The vision and path that Dr. Nugent paved for person with disabilities will always help guide the direction of the NWBA. He was a life-long ambassador for the sport and a significant player to those with disabilities. 

    He created the first comprehensive program of higher education for individuals with disabilities at the University of Illinois and started the Gizz Kids, the original collegiate wheelchair basketball team. Also in 1948, he organized the first National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, and later that year founded the NWBA to provide a year-round structure to wheelchair basketball. 

    “Dr. Nugent’s vision for persons with disabilities is a legacy that we are so thankful for, and I and so many others are honored for his vision of inclusion,” said NWBA President Sarah Castle. “Dr. Nugent dedicated his life to helping others and through his life, he created endless opportunities for individuals with disabilities. I am thankful for his dedication and the legacy he created for the NWBA. He touched so many great athletes, coaches, officials and leaders. My life as well as millions of others is richer for all of his contributions.”

    The visionary Nugent expanded wheelchair basketball beyond the VA hospitals to bring structure to the sport and create worldwide adoption and acceptance into the Paralympic Games and Parapan Am Games, which has been enjoyed by millions of people. As the first Commissioner of the NWBA, a post he held for 25 years, he modified the rules of the game to make them more similar to able-bodied basketball making it easier for the fans to follow. He was inducted into the Wheelchair Basketball Hall of Fame in 1973. 

    The U.S. Men’s and Women’s Teams both returned to the top of the podium at the Rio Paralympics this past summer, a feat that has not happened since 1988. Over a quarter of the 2016 Wheelchair Basketball Paralympic Team played collegiately at the University of Illinois, as well as U.S. Women’s Head Coach Stephanie Wheeler. 

    "Being an alumnus of the University of Illinois, he was always around. He was always at home games and he was very approachable,” said Christina Schwab, 2016 U.S. Women’s Team Co-Captain. “He was a living legend. We owe a lot to him. None of us would be here. He was a fighter. He loved the game. As athletes we had the opportunity to be around him as much as possible. He was an amazing man. He was always a presence. At any given day he would show up. I am forever indebted to him."

    The impact of Dr. Nugent is special. When you look back at the start of his journey, it was a time in America where paths were being forged for so many other significant moments in our history books. 

    “I remember he talked the entire bus ride, telling us stories of what he went through, fighting for people with disabilities years before any of us were born.,” said Steve Serio, 2016 U.S. Men’s Co-Captain. “He traveled all over the country advocating for equal opportunities for disabled individuals. Having been the founder of our league, our sport in America, the one lesson I’ll take away from him is to always continue that fight he started. Getting caught up in wins and losses is not something he ever talked about. He was only concerned with giving us more advantages than his generation had and that it was up to us to continue advocating. I’ll always remember how his message put playing this game into perspective…to see the bigger picture, the bigger fight than winning or losing. I only hope he knew how much he meant to us, our sport, and our continued fight for equality and inclusion."

    From a young age, sports played a very important role in his life. Sports helped him get through the Great Depression and it afforded him many opportunities.  He played and coached basketball, and this is where he started to get the inspiration to have the same opportunities for sport regardless of their physical limitations. 

    He helped transform the lives of many through the power of adaptive sports, and was involved in the creation of other wheelchair sports including football, track and field, archery, and square dancing. 

        He focused on the ability in disability. Most notably, Nugent was a leader in the development of architectural accessibility standards, public transportation, adaptive equipment, and recreational activities for people with disabilities.  

    He served as Professor of Rehabilitation Education and Director of the Rehabilitation Education Center and the Division of Rehabilitation Education Services at the University of Illinois, until retirement in 1985. He founded Delta Sigma Omicron, a national rehabilitations service fraternity. He served as President of the National Paraplegia Foundation (now the National Spinal Cord Injury Association) for four terms. 

    The NWBA recognized Dr. Nugent’s lifelong commitment to adaptive sports with the creation of the Dr. Timothy Nugent Person of the Year Award. The first recipient was Dr. Nugent’s family at the 2016 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, and the NWBA will continue to bestow this honor annually at the NWBT. 

     

    “Go as far as you can see, and when you get there, you’ll be surprised by how much you learned along the way and how much further you can see. And then you keep going, keep going.”

    -Dr. Timothy Nugent

     

    Photo courtesy of the University of Illinois

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