TORONTO, CANADA – The rivalry across the pond will start the 2017 U23 Men’s Wheelchair Basketball World Championships on Thursday as Team USA will tip-off against Great Britain at 10 a.m. EDST from the Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto. This will be the opening game of the tournament and the first game for Team USA in pool play.
The United States was drawn into Pool B for the 12-team World Championships. Team USA will also roll Japan, France, South Africa and defending champion Germany. Pool A features Turkey, Iran, Brazil, Australia, Italy and host country Canada.
The tournament will showcase the elite skill and athleticism that make wheelchair basketball a thrilling spectator sport and one of the most popular sports for athletes with a disability in the world It is anticipated that over 400 athletes, coaches, officials and delegates will attend the tournament, set for June 8-16.
Quarterfinals for the World Championships is slated for June 14, followed by 5th-10th place games and semi-finals on June 15. The gold and bronze medal games scheduled for June 16.
Team USA won the International Basketball Federation Continental Qualifier in January by going undefeated in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the Qualifier, Team USA outscored its competition 438-171 over six games with an average of 73 points per game, and holding its opponents to a tournament low 28.5 points per game.
The United States has been a powerhouse in the U23 Men’s World Championships, having enjoyed success at four of the past five world championships. The American men have finished on the podium in all of their previous appearances at the World Championships, including back-to-back gold medals in 2005 and 2009. In 2013, Team USA did not attend.
Great Britain has finished fourth in the last three World Championships, including 2005 when Great Britain hosted. Team GBR will feature Gregg Warburton, a Paralympic bronze medalists.
Leading the way for Team USA are Kyle Gribble of Elmhurst, Illinois, and John Schwartz of Osceola, Indiana, who both helped the Warhawks to a National title in the 2015-16 season. Mark Krenz II of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Collin Evans of Mondovi, Wisconsin; and Drew Selz of Waterford, Wisconsin, round out the five athletes from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Representing the Mizzou Tigers are Marshall Lindsay of Stansbury Park, Utah; Tyler Malone of Arlington, Texas; and Joe Underwood of Phoenix, Arizona.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha has two athletes on the team with Jeromie Meyer II of Woodbine, Iowa, and Brent Regier of Henderson, Nebraska.
Rounding out the 12-athlete roster are Fabian Romo of Missouri City, Texas, who plays for the University of Texas at Arlington, and Chayse Wolf of Wilmington, Ohio, who rolls for Edinboro University.
For more information on the 2017 U23 Men’s World Championships, visit:
U.S. Paralympic medalist Jeremy Lade of Whitewater, Wisconsin, is the head cocah, and joining him on the sidelines are assistant coaches Christian Burkett of Seattle, Washington, and Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri. Kelly Fischbach will serve as the Team Leader, with Mike Lenser of Whitewater, Wisconsin working at the athletic trainer.
2017 IWBF U23 Men’s World Championships Schedule
Toronto, Canada, June 8-16 (All Times EDST / Home Team Listed Last)
June 8 at 10 a.m.
USA vs. Great Britain
June 9 at 3 p.m.
Germany vs. USA
June 10 at 8 a.m.
France vs. USA
June 11 at 12 p.m.
USA vs. Japan
June 12 at 12 p.m.
South Africa vs. USA
11th/12th Place Game at 10 a.m.
Quarterfinals at 12 p.m.; 3 p.m.; 6 p.m.; 8 p.m.
9th/10th Place Game at 10 a.m.
7th/8th Place Game at 12 p.m.
5th/6th Place Game at 3 p.m.
Semi-Finals at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Bronze Medal Game at 10 a.m.
Gold Medal Game at 12 p.m.
2017 IWBF U23 Men’s World Championships Pools
Toronto, Canada, June 8-16
Pool A: Turkey, Iran, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Italy
Pool B: Great Britain, Japan, United States, France, South Africa, Germany