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    2019 Toyota Team USA Men's Roster Finalized

    05/25/2019, 9:00pm CDT
    By NWBA

    COLORADO SPRINGS -  The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is proud to announce the final roster for the 2019 U.S. Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team. This selection was made at the conclusion of the three-day Toyota Team USA Men’s Selection Camp, at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The 2019 U.S. Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team will comprise of 12 athletes that will compete at the 2019 ParaPan American Games scheduled to be held from August 23 to September 1, 2019, in Lima, Peru.

    Head coach Ron Lykins of Columbus, MO will lead the 2019 Toyota Team USA Men’s Senior National Team into the competition.

    “I am excited with the focus and intensity of the athletes over the last three days, and the final selections were not easy,” Lykins said. “The final group of athletes positions us for success, and it is very promising to see how this team prepares in the next couple of months.”

    The group of 12 athletes brings back some proven veteran talent with a few younger elite athletes making their Team USA debut. The team includes eight members of the iconic U.S. gold medal-winning team from the 2016 Rio Paralympics and nine athletes from the silver-medal 2018 IWBF World Championship Team.

    2019 U.S. Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Senior National Team

    Brian Bell | Forest Park, IL | Classification: 4.5

    John Boie | Milton, WI | 1.0

    Tyler Buysse | Gunter, TX | 2.5

    Aaron Gouge | Grand Prairie, TX | 2.0

    Trevon Jenifer | Edinboro, PA | 2.5

    Matt Lesperance | Sun Prairie, WI | 1.0

    Mike Paye | Macomb, MI | 3.0

    Jorge Sanchez | Dublin, CA | 4.0

    Steve Serio | Westbury, NY | 3.5

    Matt Scott | Detroit, MI | 3.5

    Josh Turek | Council Bluffs, IA | 3.5

    Jake Williams | Milwaukee, WI | 2.5


    Among the selected athletes are Mike Paye of Macomb, Michigan, and Steve Serio of Westbury, New York, the two captains of the gold-medal winning team from the 2015 Parapan American Games. Paye and Serio played together on 2006, 2010 and 2018 IWBF World Championship teams, and were together again at the 2016 Rio Paralympics where the U.S. Men won gold. Paye was a member of the 2004 Athens Paralympic team, and Serio was a contributor to the bronze-medal team for the 2012 London Paralympics.

    Matt Scott of Detroit, Michigan, joins the roster for his fourth appearance for the U.S. at the Parapan American Games. Scott has seen action on the big stage since the 2004 Athens Paralympics and has earned two Paralympic medals in 2012 (bronze) and 2016 (gold).

    Three-time U.S. Paralympian Josh Turek of Council Bluffs, Iowa makes a return to Team USA after a two-year hiatus. Turek played a vital role on the gold-medal 2016 Rio Paralympic team and represented his country on the 2014 U.S. World Championship squad that won a silver medal. Turek was a member of the last two U.S. Men's teams for the Parapan American Games (2011 and 2015).

    John Boie of Milton, Wisconsin, and Trevon Jenifer of Edinboro, Pennsylvania, are looking to bring back the gold for Team USA after they won a silver medal at the 2018 IWBF World Championships. Joining the group above in the quest of redemption are three standouts: Brian Bell of Forest Park, Illinois; Aaron Gouge of Grand Prairie, Texas; and Jake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    Jorge Sanchez of Dublin, California, makes the cut for Team USA again after helping capture silver at the 2018 IWBF World Championships this past August. Sanchez was also a gold medalist for the 2013 and 2017 America's Zonal Qualifiers. A newer addition to the athletes this year is Matt Lesperance of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, who was a member of the 2010 IWBF World Championships and the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.

    Tyler Buysse of Gunter, Texas joins the team as one of Coach Lykins’s pupils at the University of Missouri. Buysse makes the final cut for a U.S. Men's National Team after being cut in finals selections the last two year.

    In addition to the 12-players U.S. Men’s National Team, six players were named as alternate selections to the roster. Those players are: Dylan Fischbach of Vermillion, SD, Nate Hinze of Cedar Grove, WI, Ryan Neiswender of Lebanon, PA, Ian Pierson of New Braunfels, TX, Eric Rodriguez of Ashland, MO, and Jorge Salazar of Delano, CA.

    Suphanburi, Thailand – USA takes their winning streak to 3-0 at the IWBF U25 World Championship defeating Australia 56-31. Co-Captains Rose Hollermann of Elysian, MN and Abby Dunkin of New Braunfels, TX led Team USA in scoring with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

    This game against Australia matched two undefeated teams against one another. It also provided a match-up of Annabelle Lindsay of Australia, currently a student at the University of Texas-Arlington, against five of her Lady Movin’ Mavs teammates:

    - Rose Hollermann

    - Abby Dunkin

    - Angelina “Nina” Welfle of Fort Wayne, IN

    - Josie Aslakson of Jordan, MN

    - Elizabeth Becker of Weddington, NC

    Team USA had another efficient first quarter outscoring Australia 20-4, fueled by the sharp shooting of Abby Dunkin. Defensively, USA started the game in a full-court press, maximizing their speed and limiting the number of offensive opportunities for the Aussies. Their pressure defense created 4 steals and led to 8 turnovers in the first half by the Australians. The Americans would hold the Australians scoreless until the 6:46 mark of the first quarter when Lindsay scored their first basket. The first half ended with a score of 32-10.

    Head coach Trooper Johnson continued to go deep into his roster, using different line-ups, as he has done throughout the tournament. Coach Johnson stated, “In addition to winning, developing the players on this team is a priority. I’m happy with how each athlete stepped up tonight with a strong individual and team defensive effort.” That defensive effort resulted in the Australians registering a 25% shooting performance on the night.

    Emily Oberst (Brookfield, WI) steered the ship for the Americans in the third quarter with an impressive balance of scoring inside and outside. Defensively in the fourth quarter, Elizabeth Becker (Weddington, NC) leveraged her speed in a display of tenacious defense as she matched up with often larger players. Becker's play hindered Australia’s ability to establish an offensive flow.

    Team USA will play against host-country, Thailand in the quarterfinal at 4:00 AM (Eastern). Thailand is still looking for their first win of the U25 World Championship.


    2019 IWBF U25 World Championships

    Suphanburi, Thailand

    2018 IWBF World Championships Results

    USA def. Turkey 70-16 (W)

    USA def. Germany 62-11 (W)

    USA def. Australia 56-31 (W)


    U.S. Women’s Schedule for 2019 IWBF U25 World Championships

    May 26 Quarterfinal vs. Thailand 4:00 AM (Eastern / New York)

    May 27 Semifinal TBD

    May 28 Final TBD

    Suphanburi, Thailand - The U.S. women continue winning in the IWBF U25 World Championship with a 62-11 win over Germany. Ixhelt Gonzalez of Chicago, IL, led Team USA in scoring with 16 points.

    The Americans’ suffocating defense continued on day two of this championship tournament. In the first frame, U.S. amassed 25 points while holding Germany scoreless. The second quarter started slowly for the Americans until Bailey Moody of Alpharetta, GA, and Emily Oberst of Brookfield, WI, scored successive baskets. The team would notch an additional 10 points in the last five minutes of the second quarter while holding the Germans scoreless throughout the half.

    Team USA Head Coach, Trooper Johnson stated: “I loved how focused and deliberate our team was, especially the veterans on this team. They are setting the pace that we want to start our games and the younger players are following their lead.”

    Bailey Moody scored the first two points of the third quarter, and then it would become time for Ixhelt Gonzalez to put on a scoring clinic. Gonzalez would go on to score the next 16 points for her team over the course of the third and fourth quarter.

    Coach Johnson added: “So far, the team has played well and we continue to grow in areas that the staff has emphasized.” When asked about Gonzalez’ early performance in this tournament, Coach Johnson said: “It is great to see her confidence grow with every minute on the court. That can be said about our team, overall.”

    Team USA will face off against Australia tomorrow at 8:15 a.m. (Eastern). Australia has won their first two games of the U25 World Championship against Germany and Turkey.


    2019 IWBF U25 World Championships

    Suphanburi, Thailand

    2018 IWBF World Championships Results

    USA def. Turkey 70-16 (W)
    USA def. Germany 62-11 (W)


    U.S. Women’s Schedule for 2019 IWBF U25 World Championships

    May 25 vs Australia 8:15 AM (Eastern / New York)

    May 26 Quarterfinal TBD

    May 27 Semifinal TBD

    May 28 Final TBD

    Suphanburi, Thailand - The USA women opened the IWBF U25 World Championships with a 70-16 win over Turkey. Bailey Moody of Alpharetta, GA, and Ixhelt Gonzalez of Chicago, IL, combined for 30 of Team USA’s total points.

    Turkey struggled with the speed and mobility of USA who caused several Turkey turnovers on defense, and put on an up-tempo offensive clinic in the first quarter, registering 22 points. Team Co-Captain, Rose Hollermann of Elysian, MN, led all scorers at the end of the first with 13 points.

    Hollermann said, “It’s always great to start a tournament having a strong team win. That’s the biggest component that was important to us, making sure we got everyone involved.”

    Coach Trooper Johnson made sure that he did exactly that as he rotated different line-ups throughout the game, in order to maintain strong pressure defense. Offensively, 8 of the 12 athletes on Team USA scored in the game.

    Team USA will face off against Germany on Friday at 1:15 a.m. (Eastern). Germany lost in their opening game of the IWBF U25 World Championship to Australia (37-55).


    2019 IWBF U25 World Championships

    Suphanburi, Thailand

    2018 IWBF World Championships Results

    USA def. Turkey 70-16 (W)


    U.S. Women’s Schedule for 2019 IWBF U25 World Championships

    May 24 vs Germany 1:15 AM (Eastern / New York)

    May 25 vs Australia 8:15 AM (Eastern / New York)

    May 26 Quarterfinal TBD

    May 27 Semifinal TBD

    May 28 Final TBD


    05/15/2019, 5:00pm CDT
    By NWBA Board of Directors

    Will Waller, 20-year Corporate HR Executive and 5 time Paralympic & World Championship Medalist, named CEO of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association

    COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The Board of Directors of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association today announced the appointment of Will Waller, former VP of HR Business Transformation – The Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, as Chief Executive Officer effective immediately. Sarah Castle, President of the Board of Directors, said, "On behalf of our Board and 3,000 members across 43 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, I am pleased to say that Will Waller has accepted the role of NWBA CEO. Will brings to this role a unique combination of business acumen and NWBA experience as an athlete in multiple Divisions, on Team USA and on the Board of Directors. He also has proven experience in driving change that improves business results, including over the last 6 months that the Executive Director role was vacant. We believe he is uniquely qualified to support The Board of Directors in accelerating progress against our strategic plan.”

    Mr. Waller will lead the staff and the day-to-day affairs of the NWBA, while placing particular emphasis on strengthening key relationships, while increasing revenue through sponsorship and fundraising. Waller said, "The NWBA (wheelchair basketball) has played a pivotal role in all aspects of my personal journey, unlocking my leadership potential. I consider it a privilege to carry forward the legacy and vision that our Founder, Dr. Timothy J. Nugent initially established in 1948. That mission remains relevant today. Our sport, athletes and brand have significant potential to create value both for the NWBA and current & future partners. I plan to work tirelessly with and for our members to strengthen the NWBA, so that we can reach more athletes who can benefit from playing this amazing sport.”

    As a result of this change, Waller has resigned from his position on the NWBA Board of Directors.

    # # #

    Waller, 45, has 20 years of business experience having worked in 3 Fortune 150 organizations as a Human Resource Executive. During his career, he has been tasked to lead large scale change initiatives, while supporting senior leaders in their efforts to improve organizational culture and performance. Additionally, he has been a member of the NWBA for 25 years with proven success on the court and in the community. Waller has served on the Board of Directors of the NWBA since 2016 and has been actively engaged in leading the NWBA during the vacancy of the Executive Director since October of 2018. Waller lives in Hudson, Ohio with his wife and 3 children.

    Bids due at 12 p.m. Mountain time on Friday, May 31

    Junior Division Annual Assembly Set for Aug. 3

    05/06/2019, 4:00pm CDT
    By NWBA

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