April 12-15, 2018 in Louisville, KY
2016 U.S. Paralympic gold medalist Abby Dunkin of New Braunfels, Texas, never could have dreamed her life would take the course it did. In 2013, Dunkin was experiencing chronic pain in her legs that later stole her ability to walk without the use of a cane. She was diagnosed with Fiber Neuropathy Autoimmune Dysautonomia, a condition that results from damage to nerves that assist in organ system functioning. She spent the better half of her senior year in a wheelchair. However, she did not allow the pain to overcome her athletic abilities. She won a state championship in shot put that year and three years later she made her first U.S. Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball team.
In 2016, at just 20-years-old, Dunkin went on to help Team USA win gold in Rio. She currently plays at the University of Texas at Arlington and will be heading into her senior year for the Mavericks. UTA reigns at the top with the most Wheelchair Basketball National Championships. Dunkin is studying Kinesiology with a minor in Disability Studies. She feels right at home at UTA with their winning culture and elite style of play.
‘‘UTA has such a great culture. Everyone loves to represent Team USA and is very supportive of all of us on the national team. I am grateful to have campus support and teammates that motivate me; it’s very humbling and very exciting for all that we are doing,” added Dunkin.
One of the 2017 U.S. Women’s National Team Training Camp took place at UTA where Dunkin was able to show the women the Maverick’s facilities and lifestyle. Being a part of Team USA for Dunkin has changed her life. She notes it has been one of the most humbling experiences and she enjoys all of her teammates and simply being out on the court with them. Dunkin has big plans for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
At the age of 13, Jared Arambula was an avid member of the Turnstone Flyers. The Turnstone Adaptive Sports Program was one step in Arambula’s journey to becoming a Paralympic athlete and gold medalist. He is one of just 10 gold-level participants in the Paralympic Sport Club Excellence Program in the United States, and it all started at Turnstone Flyers. Turnstone Flyers is a club which helps people with disabilities live an active lifestyle and participate in sports. He was born with spina bifida and confined to a wheelchair.
Moving out of the Junior program, Arambula played at the University of Alabama where he helped Alabama to a national championship as co-captain of the 2013 team. His senior year he averaged a triple-double (more than 10 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists per game). He was awarded the Performance Award three different times throughout his collegiate career. After college, he took his career overseas to play for an Italian league considered one of the best leagues in the world. It was in Europe that he realized his potential to make the U.S. Men’s National Team, and wanted to be viewed as a true contender for a Rio Paralympic gold medal. Goal for gold was a success.
After his assistance in the 2015 Parapan American Games, where the United States won gold, Arambula solidified his position on Team USA. At the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Arambula, and the rest of Team USA, went on to win gold with an impressive undefeated record of 8-0.
“It’s obviously been an uphill battle forever,” Arambula said, “As a child, I just wanted to compete with my friends. Being on the Paralympic team really solidified it for me. It hit me that we train at the same level as everyone else and we are seen as true athletes,” added Arambula.
Arambula has his sights set on the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and another gold-medal finish for Team USA.
Significant local media outlets aired through Tennessee when native Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, was named to the 2017 U.S. Women’s National Team. Earlier this year, she made headlines for helping the Lady Movin’ Mavs win the NWBA Intercollegiate National Championships. She is also best known for her continued help, participation and education toward wheelchair basketball camps both in Tennessee and Texas.
A birth defect left Wood partially paralyzed, but she knew she had athletic strength and began her wheelchair basketball career in high school. After graduation, she started her college career at the University of Memphis. Wood later attended a summer wheelchair basketball camp at the powerhouse, University of Texas-Arlington, and fell in love with the school and program so much that she decided to transfer after her freshmen year – now a senior at UTA majoring in Psychology.
A part of a National Championship team at UTA, Wood feels humbled and confidently prepared to be representing Team USA. In 2012, she watched the U.S. Women’s National Team prepare for London and noted it was weird being an outsider then and being a contender now.
“Playing with the best in the world you get a little chip on your shoulder that you deserve to be here. Yet, there is a lot of good pressure, there is no room to make a mistake and that puts you in check and makes you thankful and humbled for the opportunity,” said Wood.
Making her first national team, she has nothing but space and time to grow and perfect her game. She is taking her career one day at a time and is thankful for every experience is given. She hopes to make it to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and vie for gold.
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is excited to announce that the NWBA Team Guide Book is now available online for download. The Team Guide Book is a great resource for teams to use that outlines team operations, and highlights important information for competing in the NWBA. The book will help teams and administrators stay on track with dates, forms and other areas of compliance for teams.
The Team Guide Book details the various requirements of being a NWBA registered team. The Team Guide Book includes the following:
The Team Guide Book includes links that allow members to access to all necessary forms. These links include access to team forms, individual forms, classification forms and individual registration.
The NWBA is excited to include a NWBA Scoring Guide in the Team Guide Book allowing teams to input scores on its team webpages and NWBA website. The Team Guide Book provides an overview of scoring process, options to score competition, step-by-step instructions and a user guide for troubleshooting support.
The Team Guide Book is an evergreen document that the NWBA will continue to add information and templates. Please make sure to visit the NWBA Resource Center at www.nwba.org/resourcecenter to download the updated version of the Team Guide Book.
For questions, please contact Brandon McBeain, Director of Membership Services and Programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shelby Gruss of Ossian Indiana was selected back in February to the 2017 U.S. Women’s National Team. Gruss was selected as a new member of Team USA after the 3-day selection camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her level of play has been a pleasant surprise to the coaching staff as she has only been playing the sport less than 10 years. Gruss played able-bodied basketball all through high school before she was injured her senior year.
A snowboarding accident over a Christmas vacation when she was 18 left her paralyzed from the waste down. She continued to support her high school team showing up at every game and giving impromptu talks to the ladies. After graduation she went on to play wheelchair basketball at the University of Illinois. She is currently a graduate student at Illinois studying Ag Production.
Just 4 years after her accident she was the captain on the University of Illinois team playing the 1.5 starting position as a junior. She had played basketball since the age of 5 but transitioning into the chair was slightly difficult for Gruss but she admits her passion for the game kept her determined to succeed.
“I’ve always been a really competitive person, and basketball was the love of my life before I got hurt,” Gruss said. “The first year I didn’t play because I was planning on moving away to college out of state. When I decided I wasn’t moving away yet, I played for a home team and fell in love with it. I saw the opportunity to and naturally, decided to pursue a new dream and play at Illinois,” added Gruss.
An inspiring role model to the young player happened to be Paralympic gold medalist and Illinois teammate Gail Gaeng who led the team as captain and showed what it meant to truly give your all and get the best out of every situation. Gruss has big plans of success with Team USA and she is making strides in the 2017 season.
Message from U.S Women's Head Coach Trooper Johnson on 2017 NWBA Women's Development Camps. Please share with others.http://www.nwba.org/developmentcamp #rollwithusPosted by National Wheelchair Basketball Association on Sunday, August 6, 2017