Louisville, Kentucky – It is the much-anticipated game that has been building throughout the 2016-17 NWBA season as the top two seeds of the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical will square off at the Kentucky Exposition Center on Sunday at 1 p.m. The No. 1 Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks and No. 2 New York Rollin’ Knicks will highlight the NWBT’s Championship Sunday format for the Adult Division I National Championship.
The Kentucky Exposition Center was buzzing as the fans were gathered around the feature courts. The Knicks tipped off the semi-final round first against the No. 3 Rogue Valley Scorpions. Both teams started out quickly each scoring six points in the first several minutes, and then the Paralympic gold-medal, star studded team of Team USA’s Steve Serio and Canadians Pat Anderson and David Eng took over and never looked back as they eclipsed the Scorpions, 84-43, to advance to their first National title game since 2015.
On the other side of the bracket, the Mavericks were just as dominant rolling past the No. 4 Sacramento Rollin’ Kings, 82-64. The Mavs feature several U.S. Paralympians: Aaron Gouge, Jason Nelms, and Jemel Pennie. The Mavericks have won the last six of seven D-I National Title Games, with their only defeat coming from the Knicks.
The Junior Division Varsity game will feature the No. 4 Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers, after they up-ended the Dallas Junior Mavericks in the semi-finals, 65-48. Also advancing to the Varsity National Championship Game will be the No. 2 BlazeSports Junior Hawks, who held on for 54-41 win over the Courage Kenny Junior Rolling Timberwolves. This will be the first Varsity National Championship game for both teams.
To close out Saturday afternoon, the first of six title games were played as the Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets closed out the season with a 45-17 victory over the Peoria Wildcats to win the Junior National Invitational Tournament. Leading the way for the Nuggets was Noah Hotchkiss with 27 points, with contributions from Jonathan McNamara with 10 points and Abigail Farrell putting up 7 points.
The Adult Division II game will feature the No. 5 Cleveland Wheelchair Cavs and No. 3 DFW Freewheelers immediately following the Adult Division I game. The Freewheelers edged the Los Angeles Clippers Chairmen, 45-40, to advance to the National Championship. The Cavs knocked off the Detroit Diehards, 53-42.
The Adult Division III game will showcase the No. 1 LWSRA Hawks against the Oklahoma Rollin’ Trojans. The Hawks defeated the Orlando Magic Wheels, 64-35. The No. No. Trojans cruised to the title game by defeating the Las Vegas Yuccas, 69-27. This game is set at the end of the D-II championship.
Championship Sunday will start with the Junior Prep Division that will feature No. 9 LWSRA Hawks and No. 6 WASA Junior Bucks, at 8 a.m. Eastern. The Hawks beat the RHI Junior Racers, 28-17, and the Bucks held off the Oklahoma Blaze, 31-27.
The 2017 NWBT presented by ABC Medical is the largest ever with 95 teams competing in two divisions (Adult and Junior) for National Championships in five classes and a title for the Varsity National Invitational Tournament. The NWBT features a total of 190 games on 12 courts, with Saturday featuring all placement games and bronze-medal games. Saturday will close with the Varsity National Invitational title game at 4 p.m. Eastern.
Individual tickets are available for the 2017 NWBT presented by ABC Medical. Event tickets sold at the Kentucky Exposition Center will be: $32 for adults for all sessions or $19.00 per day. Children 11-18 will be $12 for all sessions and $10 per day. Children 10 and under are free.