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    Countdown to the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

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    April 12-15, 2018 in Louisville, KY

    Headlines

    ABC Medical is Planting the 'Seeds of Hope' in Southern California

    02/23/2018, 9:30am CST
    By Dave Kiley, ABC Medical

    What’s sunny and warm with an ocean breeze and a lifestyle that exudes health and fitness year-round? Seems so obvious to me! Yes it’s San Diego!! Well, I set myself up for success because of my SoCal roots and the fact I just spent time in January at San Diego State University.

    Something about San Diego that’s different, special and unique. Residents and people from surrounding areas all are on bikes, skateboards, playing tennis or jogging and surfing everywhere. This atmosphere captures my soul and takes me for a ride in search of any small piece of this epic attitude or atmosphere. As my mind drifts to all that San Diego offers, I must reel myself back into focus for a task at hand. 

    A project of great importance and potential impact.

    Collegiate Adapted Sports is at a critical juncture and a ‘Monumental Moment’ all at the same time. We covered this in great detail in a previous blog, titled "Why Should We Invest in Collegiate Adaptive Sports Programs Now?"The current movement I am blogging about is to expand collegiate adapted programs nationally,  but the hottest iron in the fire is in the west and specifically at San Diego State University (SDSU). California is long over due for what seems to be a no brainer given the states given progressive nature and its population of people with disabilities.

    To continue reading this article, click here

    Road to the NWBT: Jack Binsfeld of the Rolling Rowdies

    02/22/2018, 4:45pm CST
    By Pasha Zolfaghari

    Road to the NWBT Feature: 7 weeks out

    One of the best parts of going to the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical is having the opportunity to meet hundreds of different people from all over the country. Beach bums from California can interact with farmers from the Midwest, Southern debutants can converse with gator hunters from the Bayou and city slickers can speak with ice fishers from Minnesota. Maybe that is a little stereotypical, but the point is that everyone there has a unique story to tell. The NWBT and the NWBA are a melting pot of cultures.

    For example, how many people have ever met someone with 10 siblings? A household that big is extraordinary and so is the topic of the fourth “Road to the NWBT” feature, Jack Binsfeld.

    Jack is a 12-year-old basketball player who plays for the Rolling Rowdies in his home state of Minnesota. His path to where he is now was quite the journey. Jack was born with Spina Bifida in China in 2006 and when he was six-years-old, he and his friend, Mia, from the orphanage were adopted by Neal and Jeanne Binsfeld.

    “Jack was just in shock,” said Neal about his first day as Jack’s dad. “He grieved when we took him back to the hotel and all through the flight back to the United States, but that’s just Jack. He’s just intense.”

    It is easy to empathize with Jack in that moment. Imagine being adopted into a new family and then immediately having to move to a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. That’s a lot for a six-year-old to process. But his parents aren’t the type of people to give up. “Having 11 kids is terrific,” Jack’s mom Jeanne said. “But like any parent would say, raising children comes with challenges.”

    Neal, Jack’s father who played football and baseball growing up, remembers a quote from one of his old coaches, which formed one of the pillars of his and Jeanne’s parenting style: “Do ordinary things, extraordinarily well.” And that is not something they just push on their kids. They try to live by that mantra in every aspect of life.  

    So when they saw Jack devastated throughout the first few weeks of him joining the family, rather than be depressed about it, they started working on ways to make him more comfortable in his new home. Luckily for them, two of their oldest daughters, Sarah and Samantha Binsfeld, helped them discover a new path towards helping Jack assimilate to his environment. Sarah played wheelchair basketball for the U.S. National Team in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London and helped the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater become the top team in the nation her senior year. Samantha also helped UWW become the top intercollegiate women’s team her senior year as well. “They were the inspiration,” Jeanne explained when asked how they decided to introduce Jack to wheelchair basketball.

    A few months after coming to the United States, Jack’s parents decided to see how he would do in wheelchair basketball. “I observed the coaches watch him as a six-year-old and how he saw the angles of the game,” Jack’s mom said with pride. “They were amazed by his natural skill.” It was not long before Jack started to gain confidence in the new realm of sports.

    “My parents brought me to the Courage Center (in Minneapolis, MN) and the first time I shot the ball,” Jack recalled, “It was a great feeling.” Most players give their all to the game, but for Jack, this was a two-sided relationship.

    At first, Jack was a quiet kid who grieved for his situation of having to leave his country. But after a year of playing, his outlook started to change. “Basketball really pulled him out of his shell,” Neal described. “He jokes more now and doesn’t beat himself up over small mistakes.” That confidence he had on the court ended up spilling over to his life off the court. Jack says he is close with all of his teammates and basketball even helped him learn English. If you speak with him, you would never guess that English is not his native tongue.

    Jack is fortunate to be in good hands with quality coaching from Rolling Rowdies Coach AJ Dordel and his two sisters, Samantha and Sarah. His sisters are always there to support him and as he describes, “They’re always telling me what I could do better and how I can be a better player.”

    And as one of the top players on the Minnesota Rolling Rowdies, he has helped lead the Rowdies to be the top ranked Junior Prep Division team in the month of January. His parents describe him as a hungry shooter when he first started playing, but now Jack makes sure to get all his teammates involved in the game. Jack will make sure to pass to the new kid and if the game is not too close, he will continuously pass to a struggling player until they make their shot. Jack knows what it is like to be the new kid on the block and makes it a point to help any teammate that he sees is struggling.

    And do not make the mistake of thinking that Jack is a pushover. Inside this 12-year-old kids beats the heart of a fierce competitor. “I’m excited to go out there and win,” Jack says when asked what he is looking forward to most for the NWBT. Sure, he adds that he wants to have fun and see friends, but when you come from a family that includes college champions and a Paralympian, it is no surprise that Jack is in it to win it.

    Like his parents, he is trying to do an ordinary thing, extraordinarily well.

    Week In Review (Feb. 12-18)

    02/20/2018, 1:00pm CST
    By Pasha Zolfaghari

    Eastern Conference Championships (Feb. 16-18)

    The Bennett Blazers hosted the Eastern Conference Championships from February 16-18, 2018. The tournament took place at the Bennett Gym, located at 3835 Greenspring Ave., Baltimore, MD.

    For more information, please contact Event Director Gerry Herman at 443-923-7844 or hermang@kennedykrieger.org.

     

    Connecticut President’s Day Weekend Basketball Tournament (Feb. 17-18)

    The Hospital for Special Care hosted the Connecticut President’s Day Weekend Basketball Tournament from February 17-18, 2018. The tournament took place at the Hospital for Special Care Research & Education Center, located at 370 Osgood Avenue, New Britain, CT.

    The Connecticut Spokebenders of Meridan, CT won the tournament by defeating the Brockton Celtics of Raynham, MA 44-28 in the championship game.

    The individual awards were won by the following players:

    MVP: Josh Rodriguez of the Connecticut Spokebenders

    Sportsmanship Award: Carissa Stoltzfus of the Chapter 126 CT Rolling Suns- Women

    All-Tournament Team

    Eric Veilleux of the Connecticut Spokebenders

    John Michalko of the Rochester Wheels

    David Deas of the Brooklyn Nets

    Errol Samuels of the Brooklyn Nets

     

    For more information, please contact Event Director Carlos Quiles at 860-827-1958 or c316los@aol.com.

     

    Orlando Magic 7th All-Star Invitational (Feb. 17-18)

    The Harper Family Charitable Foundation hosted the Orlando Magic 7th All-Star Invitational from February 17-18, 2018. The tournament took place at the West Orange Recreational Center, located at 309 S. Crown Point Rd, Winder Garden, FL. The tournament involved pool play, followed by a single-elimination format.

    The Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets of Cornelius, NC won the tournament by beating the Sheperd Stealers of Atlanta, GA in the championship game. The Hornets had a hot start in the first half and gained a sizeable lead before the Stealers were able claw their way back in the second half. After a highly contested fourth quarter, the Hornets were able to hit two free throws at the end of the game to win 52-49.

    In the third-place game, the LWSRA Hawks of New Lenox, IL defeated the Brooks Ballers of Jacksonville, FL with a final score of 38-36.

    For more information, please contact Event Director Joyce Prakke at 321-689-6014 and joyceprakke@gmail.com.

     

    Las Vegas YUCCAS DII & DIII at UNLV (Feb. 17-18)

    The City of Las Vegas and Paralympic Sports Club of Las Vegas hosted the Las Vegas YUCCAS DII & DIII at UNLV from February 17-18, 2018. The tournament took place at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, located at 4505 S Maryland Parkway, Las Vegas, NV.

    Los Angeles dominated the Adult Division II pool of the tournament, with the LA Hotwheels and Los Angeles Clippers Chairmen of Los Angeles, CA both going undefeated with a record of 4-0. The Rancho Renegades of Downey, CA finished with a record of 2-2, which gave them the second-best record in their pool.

    In the Adult Division III pool, the Phoenix Banner Suns of Phoenix, AZ dominated the tournament by finishing with a record of 4-0 and winning their games by an average margin of 27.5 points. The Mary Free Bed Rolling Drive of Grand Rapids, MI went 3-1, which was the second-best record in their pool.

    For more information, please contact Jonathan Foster at 702-229-4796 or jfoster@lasvegasnevada.gov.

     

    MV Raptors Double Header (Feb. 18)

    Miami Valley Adaptive Sports hosted the MV Raptors Double Header on February 18, 2018. The tournament took place at the Payne Recreation Center, located at 3800 Main St., Dayton, OH.

    The double header was played  between the Miami Valley Raptors – DII of Xenia, OH and the Cincinnati Royals – DII of Cincinnati, OH. The Royals won both games by double digits. 

    Jake Counts scored the most points for the Royals and Nate Knowles scored the most points for the Raptors in both games. 

    For more information, please contact Event Director Greg Johnson at 937-416-6159 or gregfj156@gmail.com.

     

    Edinboro University at Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers Double Header (Feb. 18)

    Edinboro University of Edinboro, PA faced the Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers of Cleveland, OH in a double header on Sunday, February 18, 2018. They played their first game at 12:30 PM CST and their second game at 2:30 PM CST. The games took place in Cleveland, Ohio.

     

    This Week in the NWBA (Feb. 19-25)

    02/20/2018, 1:00pm CST
    By Pasha Zolfaghari

    The National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) is excited to offer sanctioned events in Alabama, California, Indiana and North Carolina.

    All events are open to the public. The NWBA asks that teams and spectators share their experience by posting their photos and tagging the NWBA. Use the hashtag #NWBA to be featured on our social media sites.

     

    2018 Alabama Collegiate Classic (Feb. 23-24)

    The University of Alabama will host the 2018 Alabama Collegiate Classic from February 23-24, 2018. The tournament will take place at the University of Alabama’s Adapted Athletics Arena.

    For more information, please contact Event Director Kassie Teeter at (205) 348-5124.

     

    2018 Junior Wheelchair Basketball Midwest Conference Championships (Feb. 24-25)

    Turnstone will host the 2018 Junior Wheelchair Basketball Midwest Conference Championships from February 24-25, 2018. The tournament will take place at Turnstone, located at 3320 North Clinton St, Fort Wayne, Indiana.

    The following 14 Junior Varsity Division teams will be featured in the tournament: RHI Racers – A of Indianapolis, IN; RHI Racers – B of Indianapolis, IN; WASA Junior Bucks of Brookfield, WI; Chicago Skyhawks – Varsity of Chicago, IL; Peoria Wildcats of Peoria, IL; Mary Free Bed Jr. Pacers of Grand Rapids, MI; Motor City Wheelz - Varsity of Ann Arbor, MI; LWSRA Rolling Hawks of New Lenox, IL; Achievement Centers Jr. Wheelchair Cavaliers of Strongsville, OH; Synergy Jr. Bulls of Carol Stream, IL; Cincinnati Dragons of Covington, KY; Miami Valley Jr. Raptors of Beavercreek, OH; St. Louis Jr. Rolling Rams of St. Peters, MO and the Rockford Junior Chariots of Rockford, IL.

    The following nine Junior Prep Division teams will also be featured in the tournament: LWSRA Rolling Hawks – Prep of New Lenox, IL; Synergy Jr. Bulls – Prep of Carol Stream, IL; RHI Racers – Prep of Indianapolis, IN; Mary Free Bed Jr. Pacers – Prep of Grand Rapids, MI; Motor City Wheelz – Prep of Ann Arbor, MI; Turnstone Flyers of Fort Wayne, IN; Cincinnati Dragons – Prep of Covington, KY; Chicago Skyhawks Junior Prep of Chicago, IL and the WASA Junior Bucks – Prep of Brookfield, WI.

    For more information, please contact Event Director Jamie Garzon at (260) 969-7677 or jaime@turnstone.org.

     

    San Diego Spring Tournament (Feb. 24-25)

    The Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association will host the San Diego Spring Tournament from February 24-25, 2018. The tournament will take place at the Municipal Gymnasium, located at 2111 Pan American Plaza San Diego, California.

    The following five Adult Division II teams will play in the tournament: San Diego Silverbacks of San Diego, CA; NMCSD Wolf Pack of San Diego, CA; Magee Spokesmen of Philadelphia, PA; Rancho Renegades of Downey, CA and the PossAbilities Rolling Cubs of Lake Elsinore, CA.

    The following four Women’s Division Teams will also be featured in the tournament: San Diego Black Widows of San Diego, CA, University of Arizona – Women of Tucson, AZ, Arizona Storm of Tucson, Az and the PossAbilities Shield Maidens of Culver City, CA.

    Finally, the following three Junior Varsity Division teams will also play in the tournament: San Diego Hammer of San Diego, CA, Sacramento Jr. Royals of Sacramento, CA and the Rancho Jr. Renegades of Downey, CA.

    For more information, please contact Event Director Lindsay Holzhammer at (619) 336-1806 or lholzhammer@asrasd.org.

     

    Triangle Thunder vs. Port City Spokesmen (Feb. 24)

    On February 24, 2018 at 1:00 PM EST, the Triangle Thunder of Raleigh, NC will play the Port City Spokesmen of Wilmington, NC. This is a sanctioned Adult Division III game.

     

    2017-18 Adult Division February's Rankings

    02/20/2018, 10:00am CST
    By NWBA

    New York Rollin' Knicks New No. 1

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO -- The Adult Division Executive Committee has announced the 2017-18 February’s Rankings for Adult Division I, Adult Division II and Adult Division III. The top seeds from each division remain as follows: New York Rollin' Knicks for Adult Division I, Nassau Kings for Adult Division II and Connecticut Spokebenders for Adult Division III.

    The New York Rollin' Knicks secure the number one position in Adult Division I rankings for February. The Knicks hold victories over three of top six ranked Adult Division I teams. The Sacramento Rollin' Kings come in at No. 2 as a result of their recent success, including a thrilling triple-overtime victory over the third ranked Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks 114-110.The University of Arizona Wildcats - DI and MedStar NRH Punishers swap positions from the last rankings coming in at No. 4 and 5 respectfully.

    The Nassau Kings retain their spot atop of the Adult Division II rankings for February, a position they have held the entire 2017-18 NWBA season. The NMCSD Wolfpack have had a strong past few weeks on the court helping them to leap to No. 2 in Adult Division II. The Miami Valley Raptors dropped one spot to No. 3 in the polls. There were some teams made impressive moves in the February rankings for Adult Division II, including those within the top five: Tampa Bay Strong Dogs from No. 6 to No. 4 and Austin Rec'ers - DII from No. 11 to No. 5.

    The Connecticut Spokebenders jump one spot in the Adult Division III rankings for February into the No. 1 position for the first time this season. The Spokebenders are on a 13 game winning streak and have an overall record of 18-1. The TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels - DIII drop to second ranked Adult Division III team after being in the top position in January. The remaining of the top five ranked teams for Adult Division III all slid one spot up in February, which includes No. 3 RHI Pacers (previously No. 4), No. 4 Columbus Wheelchair Basketball Club (previously No. 5) and No. 5 Harrisonburg Cardinals (previously No. 6).

    The Adult Division I, II and III rankings are provided monthly to the NWBA by the Adult Division Executive Committee. The top 16 ranked teams for each Adult Division will earn an invite to the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical on April 12-15 at the Kentucky Expo Center in Louisville, Kentucky. The 48 teams from the three Adult Divisions will battle it out for a coveted national title on 12 basketball courts over three days of competition.

     

    2018 Division I February Rankings

    1. New York Rollin’ Knicks

    2. Sacramento Rollin' Kings

    3. Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks

    4. University of Arizona Wildcats

    5. MedStar NRH Punishers

    6. Toronto Rollin Raptors

    7. Denver Rolling Nuggets

    8. Albuquerque Kings

    9. Missouri Predators

    10. TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels - DI

    11. Seattle Sonics

    12. Utah Wheelin' Jazz

    13. Shepherd Stealers

    14. Mary Free Bed Pacers

    15. Golden State Road Warriors

    16. Miami Heat Wheels

    17. Cleveland Wheelchair Cavaliers

    18. Memphis Rollin Grizzles

    19. RIC Hornets *(Only two D1 games posted)

    20. Milwaukee Wheelchair Bucks – A **(No D1 games posted)

     

    2018 Division II February Rankings

    1. Nassau Kings

    2. NMCSD Wolfpack

    3. Miami Valley Raptors

    4. Tampa Bay Strong Dogs

    5. Austin Rec'ers

    6. LA Hotwheels

    7. Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets - A

    8. Ft Lauderdale Sharks - DII

    9. LA Clippers Chairmen

    10. Boyle Heights Kodiaks

    11. Charlottesville Cardinals - DII

    12. Magee Spokesmen

    13. San Antonio ParaSport Spurs

    14. Lakeshore Storm

    15. Kansas Wheelhawks

    16. Oklahoma Rollin' Trojans

    17. University of Arizona Wildcats - DII

    18. Madonna Magic

    19. Sportable Rim Riders

    20. Wisconsin Thunder - DII

     

    2018 Division III February Rankings

    1. Connecticut Spokebenders

    2. TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels - DIII

    3. RHI Pacers

    4. Columbus Wheelchair Basketball Club

    5. Harrisonburg Cardinals

    6. Ability 360 Phoenix WC Suns - DIII

    7. Triangle Thunder

    8. Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets - B

    9. Rockford Chariots

    10. WC Brooklyn Nets

    11. Tyler Thorns

    12. Triad Trackers

    13. Pittsburgh Steelwheelers

    14. Chicago Skyhawks

    15. Louisville Spokes & Spires

    16. Seattle Sonics - DIII

    17. Orlando Magic Wheels

    18. WASA Bucks - DIII

    19. Tucson Lobos

    20. Spartanburg Pistons

    Jesus Alamillo, Pam Fontaine, Curtis Lease, Mike Frogley

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The Intercollegiate Division Executive Committee is proud to announce the class of 2018 for the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Intercollegiate Division Hall of Fame. The 2018 inductees are a group of four individuals, who made an impact during their involvement in wheelchair basketball in the Intercollegiate Division. This year’s inductees include: Jesus Alamillo, Pam Fontaine, Curtis Lease and Mike Frogley.
     

    Athletes:

    • Jesus Alamillo, University of Texas Arlington

    Alamillo, originally from Los Angeles, California, graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from UT-Arlington. He was a three-time All-American First Team member and part of four-straight National Championship teams for the Movin’ Mavs from 1990-1994.  Alamillo continues to coach and mentor others in wheelchair basketball in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex.

    • Pam Fontaine, Wright State University

    Fontaine, originally from New Jersey, has contributed greatly to the development of the NWBA Women’s Division.  She participated on Wright State University in the 1980s. She was a member of the Lady Texans since their inception. Fontaine was selected to a National All-Tournament team at least 13 times. She has also been selected to the U.S. Women’s National Team a total of five times.

    • Curtis Lease, University of Illinois

    Curtis, originally from Jacksonville, IL, graduated in 1994 from the University of Illinois-Champaign. As a member of the Fighting Illini Lease was a four-time All-American and awarded the Sportsmanship Award for the Intercollegiate Division. Lease was also a three-time Most Valuable Player for University of Illinois. Lease continues to play as a member of the RIC Hornets of Adult Division I and is a current member of the NWBA Board of Directors.
     

    Coach/Administrator:

    • Mike Frogley, University of Illinois

    Frogley, originally from Ontario, Canada, returned to his alma mater to coach the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater wheelchair basketball program in 1999. He went on to foster a legacy of excellence in men’s and women’s collegiate wheelchair basketball, both at UW-Whitewater and the University of Illinois. Frogley led his teams to a combined 12 national championship titles in the Intercollegiate Division. In 2009 Frogley received the Bob Szyman Leadership Award of the Junior Division for his long-term leadership and development of academic recognition program for athletes of the Junior Division. Frogley currently serves as National Academy Director and Head Coach for Wheelchair Basketball Canada. Frogley also coaches two NWBA teams, Toronto Rollin’ Raptors – DI and Toronto Rollin’ Raports – DII.

     

    The 2018 inductees of the NWBA Intercollegiate Division Hall of Fame will be recognized at an upcoming NWBA competition and/or school. The 2018 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will be held on March 14-17 at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, MN. For more information please contact the Intercollegiate Division Executive Committee by visiting http://www.nwba.org/intercollegiatecontactinfo.

    Contribute Your Time at the NWBT

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The NWBA has launched the Volunteer Registration process for the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical. The 2018 NWBT is set for the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Kentucky, from April 12-15. This is a great opportunity for members to gain experience in working with the largest wheelchair basketball tournament in the world.

    The NWBA is recruiting for the following positions to volunteer for throughout the tournament: Shot Clock; Timekeeper; Scorekeeper; Event Setup; Event Breakdown; Water Service; Registration/Will Call Assistant; Statistician; Store Assistant; 50/50 Raffle Volunteer; and Greeters/Unloaders.

    Previous experience is preferred if you want to act as a volunteer table official serving in the roles of Timekeeper, Scorekeeper or Shot Clock Operator. The only other restrictions for volunteer table officials is that you must be 18 years of age or older. No other restrictions exist for any other positions.

    “For the first time, the NWBA is pleased to provide volunteer opportunities to NWBA members. Much of the success of the NWBT presented by ABC Medical can be correlated to the overwhelming support of our volunteers in Louisville,” said Anthony Bartkowski, NWBA Executive Director. “The Louisville Organizing Committee chairs of Jill Farmer and BJ Levis have continued to increase support from the Louisville community for our event. We look for their continued success in showcasing the 70th NWBT in April.”

    The volunteer positions and their time slots are being offered on a first come, first serve basis. Please make sure to sign up as soon as possible if there is a specific position and time slot that you want.

    To read more about the specific positions and sign up for them, please click on the following link.

    Road to the NWBT: Elijah Bondeson of the Sportable Spokes

    02/15/2018, 8:15am CST
    By Pasha Zolfaghari

    Road to the NWBT Feature: 8 weeks out

    The last year of high school before leaving for college can be a tumultuous time filled with a lot of changes. Some kids move away from their home towns, some have to say goodbye to their high school sweethearts and others have to decide for the first time what their career path will be.  

    For Elijah Bondeson, a 19-year-old senior in high school, one of the biggest changes will be the move from Junior Division wheelchair basketball to the Adult or Intercollegiate Division. Elijah was born with Spina Bifida and has been playing wheelchair basketball in the NWBA’s Junior Division since he was about nine-years-old. “I’ve loved it ever since the moment I started playing it,” Elijah explained in a phone interview.

    He plays for the Sportable Spokes of Richmond, Virginia, who are seeking an invitation to the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical this April. In his final year as a Junior Division player, Elijah has taken on larger leadership role according to his coach, Forrest Lodge. “He is a student of a game who loves to help the younger players,” Coach Lodge explained. “He is a vocal leader who leads by example. And any time we start a new drill, he is the first one to line up.”

    His passion and leadership can be seen off the court as well. “Elijah is always willing to join us to spread awareness about adaptive sports at elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and juvenile detention facilities,” Coach Lodge said. The more you hear about Elijah, the more you understand that ‘senioritis’ is not in his vocabulary.

    The Sportable Spokes are currently first in their conference and ranked 13th overall in the nation, which means that, barring anything drastic, they should get into the National Tournament. This would be Bondeson’s fifth tournament and when the final buzzer rings, he will be done with his career in the Junior Division.

    But Elijah doesn’t plan to stop playing. “I want to see if I am recruited to a college team first and if not, I’ll join an Adult Division team,” Elijah stated when asked about his future plans. And after playing the sport for almost a decade, his coach has no doubt it will be a seamless transition into the Adult Division for him. 

    “With his high basketball IQ and passion for the game, it should be an easy transition for him,” Coach Lodge explained. “Every summer he goes to the camp at Edinboro University and he is constantly looking to get better.” Edinboro University is one of Elijah’s dream schools, so his experience at the camps will hopefully help him land a roster spot on one of the top collegiate teams in the nation.

    With college acceptance responses rolling through in the next few month, Elijah will have to balance the nerves between waiting on college acceptances and the weeks leading up to his final National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. And as he moves through the next few month, he’ll be living the immortal words of Bob Dylan:

    “Oh the times they are achangin’.”

    January's Teams of the Month Announced

    02/13/2018, 10:45am CST
    By Pasha Zolfaghari

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is honored to announce the NWBA’s Teams of the Month for January. January’s winners are listed below and on the NWBA website at http://www.nwba.org/teampastwinners.

    NWBA Teams of the Month winners will receive a “Team of the Month” plaque.

    The NWBA recognized the following teams per division:

             Junior Division: One team each Varsity and Prep 

             Intercollegiate Division: One team (either men’s or women’s)

             Women’s Division: One team                                    

             Adult Division: One team each Division I, Division II and Division III

    Women’s Division

    No nominees
     


    Adult Division I

    No nominees
     


    Adult Division II

    Tampa Bay Strong Dogs of Tampa, Florida

    • Team record for the month: 7-0
    • Season record 9-2
    • The team was ranked 16th in the nation, but after winning the Pioneer Classic, they are now ranked 6th. 

     

    Adult Division III

    No nominees

     

    Intercollegiate Division

    University of Wisconsin - Whitewater (Men) of Whitewater, Wisconsin

    • Team record for the month: 7-1
    • Team was undefeated in December
    • Went 4-0 at Edinboro Tournament and 3-1 at Wichita, with their only loss coming from a last second buzzer beater.

     

    Junior Varsity's

    TIRR Memorial Hermann Junior Hotwheels of Houston, Texas

    • Team record for the month: 6-0
    • Season record: 24-0
    • Won the BlazeSports Big Peach Slam Jam with a record of 6-0 and beat five ranked teams.

     

    Junior Prep

    No nominees
     

    The NWBA thanks all athletes, coaches, and supporters for participating in January’s Team of the Month awards. Congratulations again to all teams that were nominated and selected as Teams of the Month.

    February’s Teams of the Month applications are due at 12:00 pm MST on Monday, March 5. All Team of the Month applications should be sent to pashazolfaghari@nwba.org.

    January's Nike Players of the Month Announced

    02/13/2018, 10:45am CST
    By Pasha Zolfaghari

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is honored to announce the NWBA’s Nike Players of the Month for January. January’s winners and results are listed on the NWBA website at http://www.nwba.org/pastwinners.

    Winners of the NWBA Player of the Month program will receive a Nike Dri-FIT NWBA branded t-shirt.

     

    The NWBA recognized the following athletes per division:

             Junior Division: One Varsity

             Intercollegiate Division: One player (either men’s or women’s athlete)

             Women’s Division: One player

             Adult Division: One player for each Division I, Division II and Division III

     

    Women’s Division

    No nominees

     

    Adult Division I

    No nominees

     

    Adult Division II

     Robbie Gordon of the Tampa Bay Strong Dogs

    • Voted the Adult Division II MVP for the Pioneer Classic by the coaches in the tournament

     

    Adult Division III

     Anthony McDaniel Jr. of the Mobile Patriots 

    • Voted the Adult Division III MVP in the Pioneer Classic by the coaches in the tournament

     

    Intercollegiate Division

    Dylan Fischbach of Vermillion, South Dakota and The University of Wisconsin - Whitewater (Men) 

    • Leads his team in assists and is constantly in the top two for points and rebounds
    • Scored 14 or more in every game this month 
    • Is averaging nearly a triple-double for the month of January

     

    Junior Varsity's

    Garrett Castillo of Woodville, Texas and the TIRR Memorial Hermann Junior Hotwheels

    • Over the season, he is averaging 18 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 1 block per game
    • Led the BlazeSports Big Peach Slam Jam tournament with 74 rebounds across six games, including 15 rebounds in the championship game

     

    Junior Prep:

     Caleb Roach of St. Joseph, Missouri and the Nebraska Red Dawgs

    • Average 18 points per game in the Whitewater and Dawg Pound Showdown tournaments
    • Scored 26 points in the Dawg Pound Showdown championship game

     

    The NWBA thanks all athletes, coaches, and supporters for participating in January’s Player of the Month awards. Congratulations again to all players that were nominated and selected as Players of the Month.

    February’s Players of the Month applications are due at 12:00 pm MST on Monday, March 5. All Player of the Month applications should be sent to pashazolfaghari@nwba.org.

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