Coming off a Friendly Competition at the Lakeshore Foundation with Canada in Birmingham, Alabama, the U.S. Women’s National Team is prepped for travel to Cali, Colombia, for the 2017 America’s Cup. The Friendly Competition marked the women’s final preparation.
The U.S. Women’s National Team arrives in Cali on August 21, and it marks the first women’s America’s Qualifier conducted by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation. Team USA opens the competition against Brazil on August 23 at 11 a.m. Mountain.
This is the first step for the U.S. Women’s Team as they are focused on advancing through the quadrennial to defend its Rio Paralympic gold medal in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Last September, Team USA also managed to break two of their own records (most points in a game and largest margin of victory) en route to the gold medal going 7-0 in the process.
The America’s Qualifier is a classification event that determines who will compete in the World Championship in Hamburg, Germany in next year. The U.S. Women’s team will be competing against Argentina, Canada, Colombia and Brazil for a spot in Germany. Canada and the United States are considered two of the best wheelchair basketball international teams, so there is sure to be a lot of exciting action from the floors in Cali.
Leading the 2017 America’s Qualifier team are three U.S. Paralympic gold medalists. Two-time Paralympian Desi Miller of Monroe, Washington; Abby Dunkin of New Braunfels, Texas; and Vanessa Erksine of Kearney, Missouri; give Team USA a strong advantage.
Also joining the team is Josie Aslakson of Jordan, Minnesota, and Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, Tennessee. Both athletes currently play for the University of Texas at Arlington.
Rounding out the team are Emily Oberst of Brookefield, Wisconsin; Brittany Gustafson of Monticello, Minnesota; Shelby Gruss of Ossian, Indiana; Lindsey Zurbrugg of Portland, Oregon; and Kaitlyn Eaton, who plays for the University of Illinois.
NWBA Hall of Famer Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, California, will serve as the U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach. He will be assisted by Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin, and Adam Kramer of Northport, Alabama. Also joining the team is athletic trainer Karla Wessels of Lexington, Kentucky, and Team Leader Kearstin Gehlhausen of Denver, Colorado.
The event will be taking place at the Coliseum Evangelista Mora. The arena was originally built for the XII National Sports Games and has a capacity of 4,500 spectators. The arena was redone in 2013 and is now known as one of the most iconic venues in the city.
The entire event will take place from August 21st – 31st. Make sure to follow NWBA’s social media accounts and check our website to keep up to date with the progress of Team USA.
2017 America’s Cup Qualifier
August 23-30, 2017
Date Time (MST) U.S. Opponent
8/23 11:00 AM Brazil
8/25 2:00 PM Canada
8/26 10:00 AM Argentina
8/27 2:00 PM Colombia
IWBF America’s Qualifier Medal Rounds
8/28 10:00 AM, Women’s Play-offs
8/29 2:00 PM, Women’s Bronze medal match
8/29 6:00 PM, Women’s Gold medal match