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    Wheelchair Basketball Star on Top of the World

    07/01/2016, 1:00pm CDT
    By Taylor Bond, NWBA

    Days that we look back on and consider blessings are usually fun, enjoyable days in which we realized opportunity, promise and change. Those type of days usually are not considered tragic, heartbreaking and life altering. For Jeff Glasbrenner of Golden, Colorado, his most blessed day back in 1980 was all of that. He was eight years old and was involved in a horrific farming accident that left him a below-the-knee amputee. One might think your whole world would come crashing down but, Glasbrenner was more than ready for what life had to offer his energetic spirit to the top of the world.

    When a big surprise comes along, you have two choices: 1. Accept the situation as it is; or 2. Take charge, and shape your own destiny,” said Glasbrenner. “That was one of my most blessed days.”

    After the accident, nurses and doctors gave him limitations. They told him he would only be able to do certain things and his chances of a normal childhood from that point on would diminish. They told him again and again he would never be able to swim, run, or play any sports. Glasbrenner tried not to feel defeated but it in fact took him a long time to realize those limitations were just a disbelief and that he could do anything he set his mind to.

    Fast forward just over 30 years and Glasbrenner has had more success then most athletes do in a lifetime. His latest feat would be the biggest goal he has ever set for himself, or any other person with a disability. He would be climbing to the highest point on earth, Mt. Everest with an apex of 29,035 feet, more than double the elevation of the United States’ famous Pikes Peak in Colorado.

    “Most days, I feel like I am on top of the world….so, I truly want to be on top of the World,” Glasbrenner said on his website before embarking on his two-month journey. 

    He teamed up with Lincoln Financial, Astep Ahead Prosthetics and Paradox Sports. He and his crew made it to the top of Mt. Everest on May 18, 2016, after only eight days from starting at the base camp. The entire journey was right at two months. He trained six-eight hours a day almost daily in preparation.

    “Surrounding yourself with the right people and organizations, you can accomplish any summit in life,” Glasbrenner noted about his support system.

    It wasn’t an easy road leading up to to this climb but every aspect of his life and everything he has done has led to his biggest feat to date. He notes that his life truly turned around in college, when he attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Little did he know this was a powerhouse school for wheelchair basketball. When asked to play basketball he remarked he only had one leg, and then realized future teammate and roommate Troy Sachs meant for him to play wheelchair basketball.

    He got involved with the sport and worked impeccably hard. University of Wisconsin at Whitewater Head Coach Fred Went saw his potential and encouraged him to try out for the national team. He worked extremely hard and was determined to reach his goals. In 2000, he made his first appearance at the Sydney Paralympic Games, where the team returned home with a bronze medal.

    This only fed his hunger for more. In 2002 he won gold in the IWBF Gold Cup in Japan and made his second Paralympic Games appearance in Athens in 2004. Also in 2004 he made his name known by capturing the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Championship scoring record – scoring 63 points and snagging 27 rebounds in one game.

    He moved to Spain and began his international career. He played professionally for CD Ilunion in Madrid and then for Santa Lucia in Rome. In 2006 he propelled Team USA to the silver medal at the IWBF World Championships in Amsterdam. In 2008 the men’s wheelchair basketball team won gold at the North America Cup and finished seventh at the Beijing Paralympic Games.

    When one sport ends you pick up another correct? He took up triathlons, rock climbing and mountain climbing. He became passionate about climbing, ultimately leading to his Everest quest. He climbed Aconcagua in the Andes along with Cayambe in Ecuador, and the Grand Tetons in Wyoming.

    He made a goal to climb the “Seven Summits.” He currently has two knotched, with five to traverse. He also continues his love for triathlons and to date has competed in 25 Ironman competitions.

    In 2010 he chose to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of losing his leg by competing in eight triathlons in eight months. He also became the first physically challenged athlete to finish the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon, the most difficult of all triathlons in the world. He has run the Boston Marathon twice and has over 12 additional marathons to his credit.

    Glasbrenner is a public motivational speaker and wrote a book in 2012, titled The Gift of a Day. The book accounts 12 specific days which he chose to view as gifts rather then defeats. He effortlessly displays how to turn dark days into personal revolutions and how they can deepen one’s character. He encourages his audiences and readers to surround themselves with good people who build you up and encourage your dreams.

    “If your dreams don’t at least scare you a little, then they are not big enough,” one of Glassbrenner’s most treasured piece of advice for his followers.

    Now that his Everest journey has come to a close, he is now back home in Golden, Colorado where he resides with his wife, Elizabeth, and two children. He ultimately enjoys staying at home with the kids when he is not training or out on a trip. He is looking forward to racing more, finishing his climbing goals and topping those five remaining summits, and who knows maybe even pick up a new sport. In the meantime, he embraces each day as it comes, knowing today tomorrow and the next are all gifts. 

    Abby Dunkin Brings Black Belt to the U.S. Women’s Paralympic Team

    07/01/2016, 8:00am CDT
    By Taylor Bond, NWBA

    Abby Dunkin may be one of the youngest ladies on the National team, but one could never tell from her presence and ease out on the court. She is a second degree black belt, former MMA fighter and an international fighter. She has a love for all contact sports, and probably one of the reasons she excels on the hardwood courts. The New Braunfels, Texas-native is the definition of competitive spirit. 

    She grew up in a military home where she played able-bodied basketball and ran track. She however was challenged physically when she started experiencing chronic pain in her legs that later resulted in a nerve condition. Through a series of medical procedures, the family was hopeful but it only led to landing her in a wheelchair. In and out of hospitals, she never lost her love for basketball and her impeccable shot. The San Antonio Spurs wheelchair basketball team were the first to note how great her shot still was and asked her to join their roster almost immediately.

    She currently plays at the University of Texas at Arlington and will be going into her junior year this fall after the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. She is majoring in Kinesiology with a minor in Disability Studies. All the pieces may have fallen together perfectly but Dunkin admits it hasn’t been the easiest transitioning from able-bodied basketball to wheelchair basketball

    “The entire experience is new to me, even realizing people in wheelchairs could play. It’s different because it’s all about the angles and not being able to use your hands as much, they remain on your chair. You are just competing way different,” Dunkin said.

    She has found her home in wheelchair basketball and calls it her second family. She never realized how close knit the entire organization is and how good the people are that are involved.

    Her athletic nature and drive to compete put her as one of the 12 athletes selected for the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team that will compete for gold in Rio. This is Dunkin’s first Paralympic Games, and was given a taste of multi-sports events as she was a member of the winning 2015 U.S. Parapan Am Games Team.

    Dunkin has a lot of other favorite things outside of wheelchair basketball. She shyly admits she has had an obsession with the king himself, Elvis Presley, since she was little. She listens to all of his music and will occasionally collect Presley memorabilia when on road trips. She also loves guitar and taught herself how to play by watching YouTube videos. Her love for music spans from Ed Sheeran to classic and acoustical sounds.

    “Do whatever makes you happy, life is too short to not do what you love,” said Dunkin.

    Wise words, from this young athlete who is doing what she loves and what makes her happy everyday. She will be even happier after her and her team go for that gold medal in September when they head to Rio

    Colorado Springs, Colorado – The NWBA and Louisville Sports Commission are excited to announce that the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NWBT), presented by ABC Medical, will be held in Louisville, Kentucky, from 2017-2018. The NWBT has been hosted in Louisville from 2013-16. The 2017 tournament will be held from March 29-April 2, and will mark the 10th time that the bluegrass state has hosted the world’s largest single sporting event for athletes with disabilities. 

    The 2016 NWBA National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical set a new record with 88 teams and 976 athletes across five divisions participating for a coveted national title. The Kentucky Exposition Center (KEC) will continue to serve as the competition venue.  KEC is also the site of historic Freedom Hall, former home to University of Louisville basketball and host of numerous NCAA Final Fours.

    “The Louisville community and event sponsors are very excited to welcome the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s National Tournament back to Louisville,” said Karl Schmitt, Jr., president and CEO of the Louisville Sports Commission. “Having hosted the tournament for the past four years, we’ve seen first-hand how it showcases active lifestyle that is accessible to everyone, regardless of challenges. This event offers local economic benefits, and is a chance for our community to come out and watch world-class athletes in action.”

    Louisville has tremendous experience hosting major and international sporting competitions such as the UCI Cyclocross World Championships, Ryder Cup, Breeders’ Cup, PGA Championship, numerous NCAA Championships as well as the National Wheelchair Basketball Association National Tournament. And, as home to the Kentucky Derby for 142 years, it is woven into the fabric of the community to embrace events and visitors from around the world.

    With its rich heritage and passion for sports, Louisville is committed to providing an outstanding experience for the athletes, and their families and fans.

    “We look forward to continuing to expand our partnership with the Louisville Sports Commission in hosting the NWBT, our premier event,” said Jim Scherr, NWBA Executive Director. “Louisville is a basketball centric location and provides the best platform for the NWBA to showcase all aspects of wheelchair basketball. The Louisville Sports Commission is committed to helping the NWBT reach its full potential.”

    The 2017 NWBT presented by ABC Medical will see preliminary games through bronze-medal games over the first three days March 30-April 1, with Championship Sunday featuring final two teams in each division chasing towards the National Title trophy on April 2, 2017.

    In 2018, the NWBA will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, scheduled for April 4-8. The NWBA Annual Assembly, NWBA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Operation Rebound events will be held in conjunction with the NWBT.

    The Kentucky Expo Center has joined with two local attractions to provide a special offer to NWBA participants and their families. The Louisville Zoo and the Kentucky Derby Museum have partnered to present a "Running Wild" package that allows access in to both attractions at a discount price of $17.50 for children (ages 5-14) and $22.50 for adults.

    In addition, Louisville offers other family-friendly attractions including the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, Muhammad Ali Center, Belle of Louisville, Frazier History Museum, Louisville Science Center and the Louisville Mega Cavern and Mega Zips.

    Local sponsors of the event include Frazier Rehab Institute, KentuckyOne Health, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Louisville Sport Commission and Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation.

    Mike Paye, A Traveling Man

    06/30/2016, 11:15am CDT
    By Taylor Bond, NWBA

    Mike Paye has it all figured out when it comes to life, love, travel and family. Oh not to mention he has it figured out when it comes to being a professional wheelchair basketball player as well. The three-time U.S. Paralympian and top scorer at the 2015 Parapan American Games, has also 10 years of international professional play under his belt. Paye makes the perfect candidate to be a co-captain for the 2016 U.S. Wheelchair Basketball Paralympic Games Team. 

    As a young kid he loved every sport and every team that would let him play. He was turned down to play on city and school teams because of his chair. However, at the age of 10 things were looking up to then play wheelchair basketball. He then went on to play in college at the University of Texas at Arlington. He claims he was very ready to leave when the time came to go off to college.

    “I lived in the exact same house growing up and was the first to leave and go off to college. I had dreams of making a Paralympic team and I was ready to start that dream. I was excited to be with an actual team and in a more structured training environment,” said Paye.

    After college he was then embarked on the next big leap to play internationally. He went straight to Germany to play professionally in the summer of 2006. He fell in love with the team, the country and a beautiful girl. Fast forward 10 years and he just finished his 10th season overseas with RSV Lahn Dill, the same club team his counterpart Steve Serio plays for as well.

    Paye currently lives in Germany with his wife Lena. They both love to travel, find local coffee shops and spend time with Lena’s family, who also lives in Germany. His favorite family get together is actually Thanksgiving where he can watch some University of Michigan football. He surprisingly said he doesn’t follow professional basketball but does follow professional football and keeps up with a fantasy football team.

    Paye and Lena reside in Giessen, Germany but he refuses to call the land of beer home. He says a piece of him is both back home in Michigan, where he is from, and Texas where most of his friends and old teammates are. He gets back to both places as often as he can, as traveling is one of his fondest hobbies and spending time with his family is what he treasures most. He is also a proud godfather to three children in Detroit.

    Paye has in fact followed his dreams and will be heading to yet another Paralympic Games. He has also played in Rio de Janeiro three times and adds that the country is so lively and a great place for competition. He has surrounded himself with great people who have helped him get where he is today and as a co-captain there is nothing but a bright future for this star and his team heading into Rio this September. 

    National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA)

    Job Description – Director of Membership Services and Programs 

    Job Title:  Director of Membership Services and Programs 

    Description of Organization 

    The National Wheelchair Basketball Association was formed in 1948 and is the oldest sports organization for individuals with physical disabilities. The NWBA provides persons with physical disabilities the opportunity to play, learn, and compete in the sport of wheelchair basketball.  The NWBA establishes strategic plans and national goals for the promotion and growth of the sport and for participation and competition at all levels. 

    As the national governing body for the sport of wheelchair basketball in the United States, the NWBA is responsible for the interpretation, standardization, and enforcement of the rules and regulations of wheelchair basketball.

    The NWBA is also responsible for protecting the interests of the NWBA membership by creating a fiscally stable environment; establishing governance best practices; maintaining a professional management structure; ensuring good communications with all NWBA constituencies; ensuring both national and international competitive excellence;  ensuring adequate resource development; augmenting the NWBA tradition; and creating comprehensive and effective compliance and monitoring programs to promote the knowledge and adherence to USOC, IWBF, federal, state, and other applicable agencies’ rules and laws.

    The NWBA national office is located at 1130 Elkton Drive, Colorado Springs, CO.

    Position

    Reporting to the Executive Director, the Director of Membership Services and Programs will have overall responsibility for the leadership and management of the NWBA Membership program, services and benefits in furtherance of the mission of the NWBA.

    Major Duties/Responsibilities

     

    Leadership and Management

    • Ensure ongoing local, national and international programmatic excellence, program evaluation, and consistent quality of programming and delivery from the National Office to the membership
    • Actively engage and energize members, volunteers, divisions, committees, partnering organizations, to lead and assist in enhancing and growing the programmatic opportunities and excellence of NWBA initiatives
    • Develop, maintain, and support a strong set of divisional and committee leadership
    • Ensure effective systems to track progress, and regularly evaluate program components, so as to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the membership, board, funders, and other constituents

    Membership and Team Organization

    • Oversee the management and implementation of all aspects of the NWBA Membership program
    • Oversee the design, management, and implementation of all aspects of the NWBA Team registration process
    • Oversee the management and implementation of the NWBA event and tournament sanction process
    • In collaboration with the Executive Director, develop comprehensive long term strategic plan to significantly increase membership, players, teams, and officials
    • Increase the volume and effectiveness of communications to the membership
    • Assist in providing management and content for website and digital media
    • Satisfactorily resolve issues or disputes from membership
    • Effectively manage the response time to membership requests
    • Proper maintenance and security of membership information

    Events and Clinics

    • Assist with all aspects of the execution of the NWBT, Collegiate Nationals, Women’s Nationals and any other events created or developed by the NWBA
    • Serve as the Assistant Tournament Director of the NWBT
    • Assist in the execution of National team, developmental, veterans, coaching or other camps or clinics developed by the NWBA
    • Assist in the development of the three-on-three initiative

     

    Program Planning and Development

    • Lead key volunteers and serve as staff liaison to annually build and adjust as needed all Division guidelines and rules, conference membership, alignment and guidelines.
    • Develop seasonal competition schedules, seasonal tournament scheduling and sanctioning, growth and development of divisions, conferences and tournaments
    • Oversee all aspects of sports including player development, coach development, and official’s development
    • Support the Executive Director in building and managing the NWBA’s relationships with key partners and providers including the USOC, the NBA, USA Basketball and others.
    • Assist in developing fundraising and support for NWBA programs
    • Develop efficient and effective budgets for program areas

     

    Qualifications

    • The Director of Membership Programs and Services will be committed to the NWBA mission
    •  Proven leadership, staff coaching and relationship management experience.
    • BS or Master’s Degree from an Accredited Institution
    • At least 5 years of sport management experience; track record of success delivering membership programs
    • Commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
    • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
    • Past success working with volunteers with the ability to cultivate existing volunteer and member relationships
    • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
    • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
    • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
    • Passion, idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed
    • Prior experience and familiarity with NWBA programs and volunteers
    • Prior experience with Wheelchair Basketball is a plus
    • Demonstrated computer literacy
    • Ability to lift at least 50 pounds
    • Ability to travel as required for the completion of job duties, and may be required from time to time to work non-traditional hours and weekends.

     

    The NWBA Director of Membership Programs and Services is an at will employee under the laws of Colorado.

     

    Application Process

    • Please send a cover letter expressing your interest in the position and addressing how you best fit the requirements of the position.
    • Send a resume and at least three professional references with contact address, phone and email address.
    • Applications must be received no later than July 12, 2016.
    • Submit to:

    Mr. Jim Scherr, Executive Director

    NWBA

    1130 Elkton Dr., Suite A

    Colorado Springs, CO 80907

    Email:  jimscherr@nwba.org

     

    The NWBA provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, the NWBA complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

    Lake Placid, New York – Team USA avenged its Thursday defeat against the 2012 Paralympic champion Germany at the U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball International Friendly, winning Saturday morning by a convincing 22-point margin, 65-43. Both squads finished the three-day competition with 5-1 records. The United States started out with a quick lead and never looked back, and had a 14-6 lead after the first quarter, and then increased its lead to 16 at the half, 32-16.

    The 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team outshot the Germans 51-38 percent from the floor, almost a complete flip-flop from Thursday’s contest. Leading the way for the Americans was two-time Paralympian Desi Miller of Monroe, Washington, who was 11 for 19 from the floor for 22 points. Three-time U.S. Paralympian Becca Murray of Germantown, Wisconsin, was right behind with 21 points going 9 for 19 from the floor and 3 for 4 from the foul line. Two-time U.S. Paralympian Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota, collected a total of 13 rebounds, and scored 12 points, for the double-double.

    A stingy U.S. defense shut down the inside game of the Germans, and controlled the rebound game, 43-25. Germany’s Gesche Schuemann and Marina Mohnen were held to only 17 and 12 points, respectively. The U.S. trio tabulated accounted for 17 of 19 points in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.

    In the closing game of the day, Team USA cruised to a 69-32 victory over 2014 World champion Canada, having seven of 12 score throughout the 40-minute game. Once again, Murray (27 points) and Hollermann (20 points) scored 47 points in total. Team USA was 52 percent from the floor, while Canada finished 29 percent in shooting. Canada’s Arinn Young collected 13 points, and Cindy Oulett drained 10 points.

    In the other games, Great Britain and Canada swapped the lead seven times over the course of the second and third quarters, and were tied after both stanzas, 28-28 after second, and 42-42 after the third. In the fourth, Helen Freeman and Amy Conroy put up a collective 14 points to defeat Canada, 70-50.

    The evening game between Germany and Great Britain was a close affair, with Germany narrowly escaping for a 59-54 win. Germany held a six-point lead after the first, 14-8, and Great Britain was only able to tie or have a slight advantage in the remaining quarters. Germany’s Mohnen was the leading scorer with 23 points, with Marieke Miller reaching double digits with 10 points. Great Britain saw four athletes reach double digits in scoring: Freeman (17 points); Jordanna Bartlett (12 points); Clare Griffiths (10 points); and Amy Conroy (10 points).

    Up next for Team USA will be a trip to Frankfurt, Germany, for the 2016 Women’s World Super Cup, July 13-18. Team USA will have one more training camp at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center, August 8-12, before traveling to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Paralympic Games.

    The U.S. women’s team qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games by winning the 2015 Parapan American Games. The U.S. women dominated the Parapan Am competition by outscoring their opponents by 55 points per game and avenged their 2014 World Championships fourth-place finish by defeating Canada for the gold medal in Toronto, Canada.

    The U.S. Women’s Head Coach is Stephanie Wheeler of Champaign, Illinois, who won two Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008, and will be assisted by NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, and Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, with Kearstin Gehlhausen of Whitewater, Wisconsin, serving as the team leader, and Karla Wessels of Lexington, Kentucky, is the athletic trainer.

    The U.S. Women’s team finished fourth at the 2012 London Paralympics, after claiming the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing and 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

     

    2016 U.S. Women’s International Friendly
    Olympic Training Center, Lake Placid, New York
    June 23-25, 2016

    Records:  1. (tie) Germany and United States, 5-1; 3. Great Britain, 3-3; Canada, 0-6

    Results
    Thursday, June 23
    Game #1 – Germany def. Canada, 54-41
    Game #2 – USA def. Great Britain, 57-50
    Game #3 – Great Britain def. Canada, 52-39
    Game #4 – Germany def. USA, 54-47

    Friday, June 24
    Game #5 – USA def. Canada, 86-45
    Game #6 – Germany vs. Great Britain, 50-35
    Game #7 – USA def. Great Britain, 57-42
    Game #8 – Germany def. Canada, 52-37

    Saturday, June 25
    Game #9 – USA def. Germany, 65-43
    Game #10 – Great Britain def. Canada, 70-50
    Game #11 – Germany def. Great Britain, 59-54
    Game #12 – USA vs. Canada, 69-32

    Lake Placid, New York – The United States regrouped overnight to open the morning session of the 2016 U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball International Friendly against 2014 World Champion Canada. Team USA started out quickly by taking a 24-4 first quarter lead, and continued to improve as the game continued for a commanding 86-45 victory.

     

    Two-time U.S. Paralympian Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota, paced Team USA by going 17 for 23 from the floor for 35 points. Also reaching double figures was three-time U.S. Paralympian Becca Murray of Germantown, Wisconsin, put up 16 points, and two-time U.S. Paralympian Desiree Miller of Monroe, Washington, scored 13 points. Team USA shot an astounding 66 percent from the floor, and held a 46-point lead in the fourth quarter.

     

    The second game pitted the United States against Great Britain, where a team effort brought Team USA back from a six-point deficit in the first quarter. The United States was down 12-6, and in the second quarter took the lead and never looked behind slowly building upon its lead on the shoulders of Murray (21 points), Hollermann (13 points) and Miller (12 points). In the closing minutes, Team USA had a 57-38 lead, and finished the evening session with a 57-42 win.

     

    Saturday morning, Team USA will try to avenge its Thursday defeat against Germany at 9 a.m. Eastern, while Great Britain and Canada square off at 11 a.m.

     

    Germany improved to a 4-0 overall record over the course of the last two days of competition with wins over Great Britain, 50-35, and Canada, 52-37. The 2012 Paralympic Games gold medalists spread the ball to its players in its two games as Mareike Miller and Marina Mohen contributed 10 points each in their win over Great Britain. In the game against the 2014 World Champion Canadians, Heike Friedrich scored 12 points, with Barbara Gross putting back 10 points.

     

    In 2014, Canada defeated the United States in the semi-finals of the World Championships and went onto win the gold medal, while the United States finished fourth. Last summer at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto, Team USA returned to the top of podium by edging Canada for the gold medal and qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

     

    Team USA will have one more international competition following the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center event, when Team USA travels to the Women’s World Super Cup, Frankfurt, Germany, July 13-18.

     

    The U.S. women’s team qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games by winning the 2015 Parapan American Games. The U.S. women dominated the Parapan Am competition by outscoring their opponents by 55 points per game and avenged their 2014 World Championships fourth-place finish by defeating Canada for the gold medal in Toronto, Canada.

     

    The U.S. Women’s Head Coach is Stephanie Wheeler of Champaign, Illinois, who won two Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008, and will be assisted by NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, and Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, with Kearstin Gehlhausen of Whitewater, Wisconsin, serving as the team leader, and Karla Wessels of Lexington, Kentucky, is the athletic trainer.

     

    The U.S. Women’s team finished fourth at the 2012 London Paralympics, after claiming the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing and 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

     

    2016 U.S. Women’s International Friendly

    Olympic Training Center, Lake Placid, New York

    June 23-25, 2016

     

    Records

    1. Germany, 4-0
    2. United States, 3-1
    3. Great Britain, 1-3
    4. Canada, 0-4

     

    Results

    Thursday, June 23

    Game #1 – Germany def. Canada, 54-41

    Game #2 – USA def. Great Britain, 57-50

    Game #3 – Great Britain def. Canada, 52-39

    Game #4 – Germany def. USA, 54-47

     

    Friday, June 24

    Game #5 – USA def. Canada, 86-45

    Game #6 – Germany vs. Great Britain, 50-35

    Game #7 – USA def. Great Britain, 57-42

    Game #8 – Germany def. Canada, 52-37

     

    Schedule

    Saturday, June 25 (All times EDST)

    9 a.m. – Germany vs. USA

    11 a.m. – Canada vs. Great Britain

    5 p.m. – Great Britain vs. Germany

    7 p.m. – USA vs. Canada

    It's A Family Thing For Gail Gaeng

    06/24/2016, 1:45pm CDT
    By Taylor Bond, NWBA

    Gail Gaeng could have been anything she wanted, as long as it involved a ball and someone keeps score. Coming from a family of six athletic siblings and equally as athletic parents and being the baby of this basketball team sized family being an athlete really wasn’t a choice she had to make. Gaeng attempted her fate at soccer, softball, lacrosse, tennis, track and eventually able bodied basketball that eventually led to the awareness of wheelchair basketball. She was invited to try out for a team in Baltimore, Maryland, close to her home of Fredrick, Maryland, and once she made the team her athletic fate was sealed.

     

    “My family is super athletic and my parents encouraged me to try anything you can imagine; it was kind of do or die when it came to athletics. Some sports probably weren’t the best thing cut out for me but they’ve always been supportive in everything I did,” said Gaeng.

     

    In high school, Gaeng played wheelchair basketball along with being a lacrosse goal keeper, wheelchair track member and for a period of time was on the tennis team. However, her quickness and competitiveness on the basketball court made wheelchair basketball the right choice for college athletics. She attended the University of Illinois, where she worked hard and was ultimately determined to make the U.S. Paralympic team. She was cut from the team five times until just recently being announces as one of 12 members of the Rio 2016 U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Team. Even more remarkable was that Gaeng’s teammates voted her as co-captain in her first Games, along with five-time U.S. Paralympian Christina Schwab of Dane, Wisconsin. It just shows how heart and a lot of determination can go along way for someone like Gaeng.

     

    “I could not be more honored to be wearing USA across my chest and going to my first games,” said Gaeng. “I am most excited about the intense competition, being that I am such a competitor and want to test my abilities. I am just very appreciative of this opportunity.”

     

    She is so competitive that she notes family board game night tends to get a little heated and if anyone should argue against her favorite team, the Baltimore Ravens, they may not come out unscathed. Gaeng doesn’t miss a Ravens game and is a self-proclaimed die hard fan, and Ray Lewis is her favorite athlete.

     

    You can find a calmer side of Gaeng out on the green where she loves to golf, because its relaxing and allows for her mind to escape basketball. Golfing is also with no surprise a family affair and it can be a great outing with lots of great bonding for all the members of the Gaeng household.

     

    As you can see, her family is very close and being the baby of the family Gaeng feels that especially more leading into Rio. She plans on seeing a few of her sisters to wish her good luck before heading to the games in September and will also be bringing her best friend and a few family members to Rio with her.

     

    Gaeng has made strides while following closely in her family’s footstep. She has also paved her own way and made her own name for herself. She is well rounded, funny, kind and ultimately achieves anything and everything she puts her mind to. Gaeng’s mind is focused on only one color of medal – gold. 

    Lake Placid, New York – Team USA opened the second U.S. Women’s International Wheelchair Basketball Friendly with a seven-point victory over Great Britain, 57-50, and then dropped its second game to the defending Paralympic Games gold medalists Germany, 54-47. Leading the way for Team USA was two-time U.S. Paralympian Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota, scored 36 points and grabbed 21 rebounds in the two games, while three-time U.S. Paralympian Becca Murray of Germantown, Wisconsin, put back 35 points.

     

    Murray paced the United States in its game against Great Britain scoring 19 of her 25 points in the first half, and at one point Team USA commanded an 18-8 lead. Great Britain bounced back in the second quarter and was down 25-24 at half. Both teams were neck and neck throughout the rest of the game, with Team USA’s Hollermann scored six points in the last three minutes for the 57-50 win. Helen Freeman and Amy Conroy were the top scorers for Great Britain with 22 and 12 points, respectively.

     

    The evening contest belonged to Germany from the start and Team USA was never able to recover from an early deficit. Germany maintained at least an eight-point lead through most the game, and increased it to 13 points in the second half, 46-33. Germany was a solid 48 percent from the floor, with Marieke Miller scoring 17 points, and Gesche Schunemann putting back 14 points.

     

    Team USA, only shooting 35 percent against Germany, saw Hollermann score 19 points and grab 12 rebounds, while Murray was held to only 10 points in the game.

     

    The United States will start the second day of the tournament against 2014 World Champion Canada at 9 a.m. Eastern, while Germany and Great Britain will follow at 11 a.m.

     

    In 2014, Canada defeated the United States in the semi-finals of the World Championships and went onto win the gold medal, while the United States finished fourth. Last summer at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto, Team USA returned to the top of podium by edging Canada for the gold medal and qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

     

    In the first game of the evening session, Great Britain came from behind to outlast Canada, 52-39. Canada came out quickly building an eight-point lead through the first quarter, however Great Britain started their comeback and never looked back. Amy Conroy scored 17 for Great Britain and was joined by Helen Freeman and Judith Hamer with 15 and 12 points each. Canada, the 2014 World champions, was led by Cindy Ouellet and Arinn Young who contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively.

     

    Germany started the day off by defeating Canada, 54-41, where four players reached double digits. Gesche Schunemann led the Germans with a double-double, scoring 12 points and snagging 11 rebounds. Mareike Miller contributed 14 points, with Maya Lindholm and Annika Zeyen scoring 10 points each. Rosalie Lalonde led Team Canada with 12 points.

     

    In the final preparation phases for the Rio Games, the U.S. team will see a variety of teams in the next five weeks. Team USA will have one more international competition following the Lake Placid Olympic Training Center event, when Team USA travels to the Women’s World Super Cup, Frankfurt, Germany, July 13-18.

     

    The U.S. women’s team qualified for the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games by winning the 2015 Parapan American Games. The U.S. women dominated the Parapan Am competition by outscoring their opponents by 55 points per game and avenged their 2014 World Championships fourth-place finish by defeating Canada for the gold medal in Toronto, Canada.

     

    The U.S. Women’s Head Coach is Stephanie Wheeler of Champaign, Illinois, who won two Paralympic Games in 2004 and 2008, and will be assisted by NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, and Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, with Kearstin Gehlhausen of Whitewater, Wisconsin, serving as the team leader, and Karla Wessels of Lexington, Kentucky, is the athletic trainer.

     

    The U.S. Women’s team finished fourth at the 2012 London Paralympics, after claiming the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing and 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

     

    2016 U.S. Women’s International Friendly

    Olympic Training Center, Lake Placid, New York

    June 23-25, 2016

     

    Results

    Game #1 – Germany def. Canada, 54-41

    Game #2 – USA def. Great Britain, 57-50

    Game #3 – Great Britain def. Canada, 52-39

    Game #4 – Germany def. USA, 54-47

     

    Schedule

    Friday, June 23 (All times EDST)

    9 a.m.                       Canada vs. USA

    11 a.m.                    Germany vs. Great Britain

    5 p.m.                       Great Britain vs. USA

    7 p.m.                       Germany vs. Canada

     

    Saturday, June 24 (All times EDST)

    9 a.m.                       Germany vs. USA

    11 a.m.                    Canada vs. Great Britain

    5 p.m.                       Great Britain vs. Germany

    7 p.m.                       USA vs. Canada

     

    Co-Captain Christina Schwab Looks Forward to Fifth Paralympic Games

    06/23/2016, 3:30pm CDT
    By Taylor Bond, NWBA

    Multi-talented Christina Schwab has already had a full life at the age of 36. Having been to four Paralympic games, four World Championships, won two gold medals, and is also a Boston Marathoner winner, that is just the beginning of her resume. Schwab was also a two-sport collegiate athlete and two-sport U.S. Paralympic athlete having competed in track in 2012 in London. Not to mention she is married, has a three-year-old son and co-founded the Denver Lady Rolling Nuggets. Schwab’s list of accomplishments is endless as she is going into her fifth and final Games. Her impressionism will not stop when her basketball career does.

     

    Schwab just recently accepted a coaching position at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. She will be the new head women’s wheelchair basketball coach. She has previously coached at the junior division level but never the collegiate level, and she could not be more excited.

     

    “I can’t wait to be involved with the school, the team and the organization. I want to help younger girls make the USA team and achieve their dreams,” said Schwab.

     

    Accepting this position means relocating her family from Colorado to Wisconsin, but being reunited by her friends and family in her home state, as she was born and raised in the city of Dane. Schwab only moved to Lakewood, Colorado in 2006, where she then founded the Denver Lady Rolling Nuggets alongside Jennifer Chew in 2007 and has played for them ever since.

     

    After high school in Wisconsin, she went on to do track and wheelchair basketball at the University of Illinois. Her college track coach was originally from Boston and he was the one who encouraged her to do the Boston Marathon. She won the marathon in 2003.

     

    “I always thought I was more of a mid-distance athlete like the 400 and 800 but after doing Boston I realized I was more successful at the marathon,” Schwab added.

     

    Hanging up her court shoes after Rio comes with mixed emotions for Schwab, as she has truly enjoyed the team aspect, the hard work put in on a daily basis and the overall journey. However, she is excited to explore the path of coaching and being able to spend more time with her young family and exploit her gardening career.

     

    That’s right the competitive and award-winning Christina Schwab loves to garden and is sad to be leaving her newly planted garden to the new owners of her home. She loves going to farmer’s markets and planting new things. Schwab and her family also have a passion for the outdoors and you can often find them exploring somewhere new, going for a hike and camping on the weekends. This well rounded U.S. Paralympian may have had a full life up to this point, but needless to say she has a full life to look forward to after the upcoming games, where she hopes to add just one more athletic accomplishment to her already endless list before residing on the sidelines as a head coach.

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