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    April 12-15, 2018 in Louisville, KY

    Headlines

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The NWBA announced the 2018 U.S. Men’s World Championships Wheelchair Basketball Team, following the four-day selection camp at the Olympic Training Center, May 23-26. The 2018 U.S. Team sees the return of 10 athletes from the 2016 Paralympic Games gold-medal team. The IWBF World Championships are set for Hamburg, Germany, August 16-26, at the Edel-Optics Arena, that will feature a total of 16 teams.

    The road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics for wheelchair basketball started in 2017 with the America’s Zonal Qualifying tournament, where Team USA claimed a gold medal after defeating Canada. In 2019, the U.S. Team will compete at the Para Pan Am Games in Lima, Peru. The quadrenium will close out with the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

    2016 co-captainsSteve Serioof Westbury, New York, and Mike Paye of Warren, Michigan, return to the squad. Serio, a three-time Paralympian (2008, 2012, 2016), paced the United States in Rio from the point and has earned two consecutive Paralympic medals (2012 bronze, 2016 gold). Paye, also a three-time Paralympian (2004, 2008, 2016), is the contributor in a variety of looks for the U.S. men. 

    Matt Scott of Detroit, Michigan, returns in an attempt to make a fifth consecutive U.S. Paralympic Team. Scott has seen action on the big stage since the Athens Paralympics, and has earned two Paralympic medals (2012 and 2016). Two-time Paralympic medalistIan Lynchof Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, also returns to the squad. Both are versatile players on defense and offense. 

    Two-time Paralympic medalistsNate Hinze of Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, andTrevon Jenifer of Huntingtown, Maryland, have returned to the U.S. Men’s National Team after taking a year off following the Rio Games. 

    Four members of the 2016 gold-medal team return and are looking towards their second appearance at the 2020 Paralympics, and all earned a silver medal at the 2014 World Championships. Leading the quartet is Brian Bell of Forest Park, Illinois;Jared Arambula of Valparaiso, Indiana;Aaron Gougeof Wake Forest, North Carolina; andJake Williams of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

    Also joining the Paralympians and making their first U.S. World Championship team will be: John Boie of Milton, Wisconsin, and Jorge Sanchez of Oakland, California. Sanchez was a member of the 2013 and 2017 America’s Qualifier teams. Boie fills out the roster and brings experience from the perennial collegiate powerhouse of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. 

    “I am excited with the focus and intensity of the athletes over the last four days, and the final selections were not easy,” said U.S. Men’s Head Coach Ron Lykins of Columbia, Missouri. “The final group of athletes position us for success, and I it is very promising to see how this team prepares in the next couple of months for Germany. The athletes who were not selected show a lot of promise to lead Team USA in the future.” 

    Lykins has coached three U.S. Paralympic gold-medal teams (2004 women; 2008 women; 2016 men). Joining him on the sidelines will be assistant coaches Robb Taylor of Auburn, Alabama,John Sikora of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri, is the team leader, withMary Vacala of Savannah, Georgia, serving as the Athletic Trainer. The Team Physician isDr. Gloria Beimof Crested Butte, Colorado. 

    Team USA qualified for the 2018 World Championships by winning the 2017 America’s Zonal Qualifier in Cali, Colombia. The U.S. Men last lost in the 2014 World Championships, where they claimed a silver medal. At the 2015 ParaPan Am Games, Team USA cruised to the gold medal. 

    Team USA has brought home a medal at all World Championships, including six gold medals, four silver medals, and one bronze medal. Team USA has played for the gold medal in 10 of the 11 IWBF World Championships. 

    At the Rio Paralympics, the U.S. Men outscored the field, 614-349. The U.S. Men’s Paralympic Team led eight of 12 stat categories. The U.S. Men won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympics, and were seventh in 2004 and fourth in 2008, following bronze-medal performances in 2000 and 1996.

    2018 Wounded Warriors Games Set for June 1-9

    05/24/2018, 12:15pm CDT
    By Pasha Zolfaghari

    You can take a soldier out of the fight, but you can never take the fight out of a soldier.

    From June 1-9, the Department of Defense (DoD) Warrior Games will take place in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the Air Force Academy Falcon Stadium. The event has occurred annually since 2010 and is a multi-sport competition for wounded veterans.

    This year’s Warrior Games is set for more than 250 competitors, multiple celebrity guests, three new sports and a new team. Jon Stewart will reprise his role as the Master of Ceremonies after doing a phenomenal job in the role last year. Music legends Kelly Clarkson and Eric Paisley are also set to hold concerts at this year’s event.

    This year’s games will see the return of archery, track and field, shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming and wheelchair basketball. Three new events, time trial cycling, indoor rowing and powerlifting, have been added. The teams competing in the games this year are the Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, Special Operations Command, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada. This is the second year that Australia has competed and the first year ever that Canada is competing in the Warrior Games.

    The National Wheelchair Basketball Association, a long-time partner of the Warrior Games, will also be in attendance to support the event. mi“Our league was founded by disabled veterans returning home from World War II,” NWBA Executive Director Anthony Bartkowski explained. “From the inception of our league, veterans have been the backbone that helped us grow and improve to the league we are today. It is so important to support our veterans and we wish all of the participants the best of luck at the 2018 Warrior Games!”

    The goal of the Warrior Games is to support our returning veterans and let them know that their sacrifices are appreciated by the civilians. To learn more about the event and get free admissions tickets, click here. The stadium doors open at 5 pm MST, so make sure to come out and support all of the competitors in the 2018 Warrior Games.

    2018 NWBA Annual Congress Announcement

    05/21/2018, 4:45pm CDT
    By NWBA

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO - Due to the lack of registrations for the first NWBA Annual Congress, we have made some changes to the program, based upon feedback of the members. The NWBA Annual Congress is still scheduled at the Cheyenne Conference Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs, CO, June 14-17. We have eliminated the $450 registration fee, and reduced various programs that is reflected in the schedule below. Attendees will be responsible for their own travel, hotel, meals, and incidental expenses.

    All NWBA members have an opportunity to attend the NWBA Annual Congress. The registration deadline for the NWBA Annual Congress has been extended to Sunday, June 3. NWBA members planning to only attend the Annual Assembly from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 16, must still complete a entry for registration and select the “Annual Assembly” option.

    To register for the Annual Congress and Annual Assembly, click here. The Annual Congress also has a webpage where more information can be found here.

    The deadline to reserve a room at the “NWBA” group rate at the Cheyenne Conference Mountain Resort is Monday, June 4. The “NWBA” group rate is $169 per night plus tax. Please contact the Cheyenne Conference Mountain Resort directly to book your accomedations at (719) 538-4000 or http://www.cheyennemountain.com/.

    The Annual Congress was developed based on the feedback from members in the 2016-17 season survey. During the Congress, ample time has been scheduled for members to discuss key items within the respective Divisions. The concept of the Annual Congress is to provide members an opportunity to attend a variety of best practice seminars that are pertinent to the overall development for the member and the NWBA.

    In the future, we will be evaluating how best to accomplish an Annual Congress event that is cost effective for the betterment of all members. If you or your team are interested in hosting a future Annual Congress, please contact me directly for requirements.

     

    Revised 2018 NWBA Annual Congress Schedule

    Thursday, June 14

    Arrivals and Registration

    7-9 p.m. – Divisional Meetings

     

    Friday, June 15

    8-10 a.m. – Divisional Meetings

    10-11:30 a.m. – Membership Round Tables

    2-5 p.m. – Membership Round Tables

     

    Saturday, June 16

    8:30-11:30 a.m – NWBA Annual Assembly

     

    Please feel free to contact us with any questions. We look forward to hosting you for the first NWBA Annual Congress.

    Nike Player of the Month and NWBA Team of the Month Recap

    05/07/2018, 10:45am CDT
    By Pasha Zolfaghari

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The 2017-18 NWBA season gave fans one of the greatest seasons of wheelchair basketball in the history of the sport. Fans saw the highest scoring game in NWBA history, a repeat of the championship game from last year and so much more.

    This season also saw an increase of national recognition for both players and teams through the Nike Player of the Month and NWBA Team of the Month programs. We saw a record number of votes this season for the program and every nominee was truly worthy of their recognition. Below is the list of every player and team that represented everything the NWBA stands for.

    Nike Players of the Month: 2017-18 Season

    OCTOBER'S WINNERS

    Women's Division: Kelly Lavoie of the Chapter 126 CT Rolling Suns of Bristol, Connecticut

    Adult Division I: Hector Perez of the NMCSD Wolf Pack of San Diego, California

    Adult Division II: Mark Hartney of the Sportable Rim Riders of Richmond Virginia

    Adult Division III: Claude Scott of the Pittsburg Steelwheelers of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

    Junior Varsity: Daniel Malloy of the Fairfax Falcons of Fairfax, Virginia

    Intercollegiate Division: Mackenzie Voecks of the University of Nebraska Omaha, Destiny Ortega of the University of Texas Arlington (UTA)

     

    NOVEMBER'S WINNERS

    Women’s Division: Becca Murray of the WASA Bucks - Women of Milwaukee, WI

    Adult Division I: Bryce Doody of the MedStar NRH Punishers of Washington, D.C.

    Adult Division II: Chris Goodwin of the Lakeshore Storms of Birmingham, Alabama

    Adult Division III: Robert Reed of the Phoenix Banner Suns of Phoenix, Arizona

    Junior Varsity: Tyler Tippins of the Lakeshore Lakers of Birmingham, Alabama

    Junior Prep: Preston Howell of the Charlotte Rollin' Hornets Prep-Purple of Matthews, North Carolina

    Intercollegiate Division: Emily Oberst of the University of Illinois Fighting Illini Women's Team of Champaign, Illinois

     

    DECEMBER'S WINNERS

    Junior Varsity: Breanna Clark of the Katie's Komets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Junior Prep: J.P. James Pollard of the Bennett Blazers - Prep of Baltimore, Maryland

     

    JANUARY'S WINNERS

    Adult Division II: Robbie Gordon of the Tampa Bay Strong Dogs

    Adult Division III: Anthony McDaniel Jr. of the Mobile Patriots

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

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

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

     

    FEBRUARY'S WINNERS

    Adult Division I: Joseph Chambers of Davis, CA and the Sacramento Rollin' Kings

    Junior Varsity: Austin Smith of the Charlotte Rollin' Hornets - Varsity

    Junior Prep: AJ Miller of Cedar Rapids, IA and the SportAbility Rolling Panthers

    Intercollegiate Division: Ranley Clayton of Alexander City, AL and Auburn University – Men

     

    MARCH'S WINNERS

    Women’s Division: Gail Gaeng of Chicago, IL and the LWSRA Lady Hawks

    Intercollegiate Division: Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota and University of Texas at Arlington - Women

    Junior Varsity Division: Chauncey Wulf of Decatur, IL and the Peoria Wildcats

    Junior Prep: Adam Smith of Marvin, NC and Charlotte Rollin' Hornets Prep – Purple

     

    NWBA Teams of the Month

    OCTOBER’S WINNERS

    Women's Division: WFS Team Liberty of Brooklyn, New York

    Adult Division I: Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks of Arlington, Texas

    Adult Division II: Nassau Kings of Elmont, New York

    Adult Division III: Pittsburg SteelWheelers of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania

    Intercollegiate Division: Auburn University Tigers of Auburn, Alabama

    Junior Varsity: Dallas Jr. Wheelchair Mavericks of Dallas, Texas

     

    NOVEMBER'S WINNERS

    Women’s Division: WASA Bucks of Brookfield, Wisconsin

    Adult Division I: MedStar NRH Punishers of Washington, D.C.

    Adult Division II: NMCSD Wolfpack of San Diego, California

    Adult Division III: Seattle Sonics of Seattle, Washington

    Intercollegiate Division: University of Illinois Fighting Illini Men's Team of Champaign, Illinois

    Junior Varsity: ParaSport Spokane - Varsity (A) of Spokane, Washington

    Junior Prep: Minnesota Rollin' Rowdies of Minneapolis, Minnesota

     

    DECEMBER'S WINNERS

    Adult Division III: Turnstone Bandits of Fort Wayne, Indiana

    Junior Varsity: Utah Rush - Varsity of Salt Lake City Utah

     

    JANUARY'S WINNERS

    Adult Division II: Tampa Bay Strong Dogs of Tampa, Florida

    Intercollegiate Division: University of Wisconsin - Whitewater (Men) of Whitewater, Wisconsin

    Junior Varsity: TIRR Memorial Hermann Junior Hotwheels of Houston, Texas

     

    FEBRUARY'S WINNER

    Adult Division I: Sacramento Rollin' Kings of Davis, CA

     

    MARCH'S WINNERS

    Intercollegiate Division: University of Alabama - Men of Tuscaloosa, AL

    Junior Prep: Charlotte Rollin' Hornets Prep - Purple of Charlotte, NC

    Election for Board of Directors

    05/02/2018, 5:45pm CDT
    By Tim Fox, NWBA Secretary & NWBA Governance Chairperson

    We want to inform the members that there is no election for the NWBA Board of Directors in the 2017-18 season, as all seats are presently filled and no terms expire during this year. When the NWBA adopted its Bylaws in 2008. The Bylaws set a staggered term process which allows individuals to transfer on/off the Board of Directors, keeping members on with experience, which is a best practice for non-profits organizations.

    There will be several seats for election again the 2018-19 season, and call for nominations, etc., will happen accordingly per the NWBA Bylaws. If you have any questions regarding the election process, Anthony Bartkowski, NWBA Executive Director, or myself.

    Below is when the members were elected/appointed to the Board of Directors, with their year of expiration:

     

    Name                                                                    Elected                                 Expires

    Sarah Castle, President                               2016-17                                2019-20

    Bruce Fischbach, Vice President           2016-17                                2019-20

    Doug Arambula                                                2016-17                                2019-20

    Tim Fox                                                                  2016-17                                2019-20

    Lee Montgomery                                             2016-17                                2019-20

    Dan Ferriera                                                       2015-16                                2018-19

    Curtis Lease, Treasurer                                2015-16                                2018-19

    Mark Crear                                                          2015 – Appointed            Annually appointed by Board

    Jay Abraham                                                       2015 – Appointed            Annually appointed by Board

    Will Waller                                                           2016 – Appointed            Annually appointed by Board

    COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) announced Tuesday that is has partnered with Blue Star Sports, an industry leader in sports technology. Krossover, a Blue Star Sports company, is now recognized as the Official Video Breakdown and Analytics Provider of the NWBA.

    “The NWBA’s partnership with Blue Star Sports is significant for the overall development of our National Team athletes, and provides our member teams the same technology resources for tracking team progress throughout the upcoming 2018-19 NWBA season,” said Anthony Bartkowski, NWBA Executive Director. “The Blue Star Sports suite of software is easy to use and provides an extraordinary technology advancement for wheelchair basketball.”

    The NWBA will receive a blend of complementary and discounted services through Krossover’s suite of video breakdown services. Krossover is the industry leader in providing coaches and athletes with automated video breakdown and statistical analysis services. NWBA members will also be eligible for discounted pricing on additional services within the Blue Star Sports family.

    “Krossover and Blue Star Sports are very excited to have partnered with the NWBA. The sport’s growth in the United States is unprecedented and we’re excited to be a partner of the organization,” said Dan Pesce, Associate Director of Partnerships with Blue Star Sports. “By adopting our services, member teams will continue to enhance their experience and elevate their level of play.”

    NWBA members will be offered initial discounted pricing through November 1, 2018, with packages starting at $200. Krossover offers technology solutions for coaches to review film and catalog players throughout the year to evaluate player development and progress.

    The NWBA’s National Teams will also utilize the broad range of Blue Star Sports’ technologies in evaluating Team USA’s performances and scouting opponents.

    Proposed NWBA Bylaw Amendments

    04/17/2018, 8:30pm CDT
    By NWBA Governance Committee

    The NWBA Governance Committee has posted the NWBA Bylaw Amendment proposals that were received by the deadline and from registered NWBA members, in accord with the NWBA Bylaws. 

    The Bylaw Amendment Proposals will be reviewed at the NWBA Annual Congress in Colorado Springs, Colorado, June 14-17. 

    The Bylaw Amendment Proposals received are below in PDF file format. 

     

     

    The 70th National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical ended with an exciting Sunday as the Junior Divisions wrapped up their seasons. The first championship game played was the NIT Championship pool, followed by the Junior Prep and Junior Varsity championships.

    The NIT Championship game was played between the 17 seed Mary Free Bed Jr. Pacers and the 22 seed Motor City Wheelz. The Motor City Wheelz started out hot, scoring the first two baskets of the game, but the Pacers picked up their form shortly after that. They had an eight-point lead at halftime and their barrage did not stop throughout the rest of the game. In the end, the Pacers defeated the Wheelz, 43-41, to win the NIT pool Championships.

    The second championship game of the day was for the Junior Prep Division at 12:00 p.m. EST. The one seed Minnesota Rolling Rowdies played the three Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets – Purple in a highly anticipated game after both teams had a strong tournament. Through the first half, the teams stayed neck and neck with each other, but the second half was when the Hornets took their advantage. Led by Preston Howell on both ends of the floor, the Hornets took the victory with a final score of 32-26.

    To end the day, the Junior Varsity Championship game was played between the TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels and the Blazesports Jr. Hawks. The game, which had the loudest fans of the day by far, was a thriller from the very beginning. Neither team ever had a double-digit lead and fans never knew what to expect after the lead changed so many times. But the Hotwheels were able to pull out the 62-56 victory through the leadership of Peter Berry and Carrington Marendes.

    With the end of the Junior Division Championships, the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical ended as the largest tournament ever in its 70 years of existence.

    Here are all of the Junior Division award winners:

    Junior Division Awards

    Junior Varsity Division

    Female 1st Team All-Tournament

    1. Ali Ibanez of the Utah Rush
    2. Elizabeth Becker of the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets
    3. Moria Paulus of the WASA Jr. Bucks
    4. Denise Rodriguez of the Dallas Jr. Mavericks
    5. Jordan Kozloski of the Blazesports Atlanta Jr. Hawks

    Male 1st Team All-Tournament

    1. Nick Oman of the RHI Racers
    2. Samuel Armas of the BlazeSports Atlanta Jr. Hawks
    3. Kyle Blake of the Utah Rush
    4. AJ Hammer of the RHI Racers
    5. Miles Hill of the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets

    Male 2nd Team All-Tournament

    1. Garret Castillo of the TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels
    2. Peter Berry of the TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels
    3. Jonathan McNamara of the Peoria Wildcats
    4. Luke Robinson of the Seattle Jr. Sonics
    5. Chauncy Wulf of the Peoria Wildcats

    Female Varsity MVP

    Emilee Gustafson of the Minnesota Jr. Rolling Timberwolves

    Male Varsity MVP

    Carrington Marendes of the TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels

    Sportsmanship Award

    Tyler Tippin of the Lakershore Lakers

     

    NIT

    Female 1st Team All- Tournament

    1. Josie DeHart of the Denver Jr. Rolling Nuggets
    2. Riley Ljungdahl of the Denver Jr. Rolling Nuggets
    3. Sarah Switzer of the UAH Chargers
    4. Elizabeth Guerin of the Mad City Badgers
    5. Hannah Exline of the RHI Racers B
    6. Breanna Clark of Katie’s Komets

    Male 1st Team All-Tournament

    1. Gabe DenBraber of the Mary Free Bed Jr. Pacers
    2. TaeVon Selby of the Motor City Wheelz
    3. Bernard Guerin of the Mad City Wheelz
    4. Ryan Glatchak of the Synergy Jr. Bulls
    5. Joe Rafter of Katie’s Komets

    Male 2nd Team All-Tournament

    1. Nathan Nowak of the Denver Jr. Rolling Nuggets
    2. Michael Cunningham of the Denver Jr. Rolling Nuggets
    3. Jerret Darden of the OKC Wheels of Thunder
    4. William Oberg of the Mary Free Bed Jr. Pacers
    5. McKinley Reed of the St. Louis Jr. Rollin’ Rams

    Female NIT MVP

    Josie DeHart of the Denver Jr. Rolling Nuggets

    Male NIT MVP

    Gabe DenBraber of the Mary Free Bed Jr. Pacers

     

    Junior Prep Division

    Female 1st Team All-Tournament

    1. Sadie Absher of the Charlotte Rolling Hornets – Purple
    2. Lixi Tidemann of the Bennet Blazers
    3. Mary Mclendon of the Lakeshore Sharks
    4. Ally Tyler of the Minnesota Rolling Rowdies
    5. Ashlyn Olnick of the RHI Junior Racers

    Male 1st Team All-Tournament

    1. Seith Horne of the Lakeshore Sharks
    2. James Pollard of the Bennett Blazers
    3. Kidus Ali of the Fairfax Falcons
    4. Malachi Heger of the OKC Wheels of Thunder
    5. Nick Deyo of the Minnesota Rolling Rowdies

    Male 2nd Team All-Tournament

    1. Jah’Kyra Daniel of the Lakeshore Sharks
    2. Jack Binsfeld of the Minnesota Rolling Rowdies
    3. Ashton Taylor of the Cincinnati Dragons
    4. Zac Armas of the Blazesports Jr. Hawks
    5. Caleb Roach of the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets – Purple

    Male Prep MVP

    Preston Howell of the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets

    Female Prep MVP

    Harmonee Ruets of the LWSRA Hawks

    Sportsmanship Award

    KJ Fields of the Lakeshore Sharks

    Letter from Louisville

    04/15/2018, 8:00am CDT
    By Steve Goldberg and FIBA.com

    An Article from FIBA's Steve Goldberg

    LOUISVILLE (Steve Goldberg's Wheel World) - As I write this column, I'm sitting courtside in Louisville, Kentucky where the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks, the most successful team in the history of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association with 15 championship titles since 1997, is facing off in a semifinal against the Sacramento Kings.

    The last time these teams met, at a tournament in San Diego last February, the game went to triple overtime with the Kings winning 114-110. That's why the Kings were the #2 seed to the Mavericks #3.

    This is one of the marquis matchups of the 2018 National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament that features title competitions for some 1100 athletes on 96 teams in three junior and three adult divisions.

    This long weekend began Thursday morning and will extend through Sunday. It encompasses far more than the competition. All of the games are being played under one roof at the Kentucky Exposition Center, a massive facility that is connected to Freedom Hall, the home court of the University of Louisville.

    This allows the NWBA to bring the past, present and future of the game all together. The young kids get to watch the older kids, and they all get to watch the adults play, getting a first-hand look at what their future might be.

    Such as the 26 current and former Paralympians playing on first and second division teams. Ten of those are Canadians. All except Pat Anderson and David Eng, who play for the top seeded Division I New York Knicks, the others all suit up for the DI and DII teams of the Toronto Rollin' Raptors.

    Bo Hedges, a three-time Paralympian, told me, "We have a pretty strong group of players in Toronto so giving them the chance to play on these two levels is great for the development. We have a couple of national team guys on each team as well as a bunch of our developing players who are training all year-round together in Toronto so it's great to have something where we can go for a championship and travel around and go play all these great teams down in the U.S."

    The DI side is helmed by the head coach of Canada's National Men's Team, Matteo Feriani and assistant coach Joey Johnson. The coaching staff of the DII squad includes the women's national head coach Marc Antoine Ducharme.

    Speaking of coaches, NWBT also includes the induction ceremony for the NWBA Hall of Fame, and this year's class will include Ron Lykins, who steered the USA men to gold at Rio after previously doing the same for the American women in Athens and Beijing.

    He will be joined by my fellow Tarheel native, Stephanie Wheeler, who organized the USA women on their way to gold in Rio, after playing on both of Lykins' gold medal teams. With them will be former Canadian coach Mike Frogley who led the men of the maple leaf to gold in Sydney and Athens, and silver in Beijing. Lykins is also men's head coach at the University of Missouri while Wheeler guides the University of Illinois women. Frogley had previously coached the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater as well as Illinois, garnering 12 championships for men's and women's teams during that tenure.

    And then there was Zambia. On Friday afternoon, the NWBA hosted a delegation from Zambia who are visiting the U.S. as part of a sports diplomacy program of the U.S. Department of State, which had also recently sent USA Women's head coach Trooper Johnson to Morocco to help teach the game.

    The contingent from Zambia is here to learn more about promoting disability rights and inclusion, specifically as it can be impacted to the positive by sports. They represented the National Paralympic Committee of Zambia, the Bouleni United Sports Academy, Special Olympics Zambia, the Matero Women's Sports Club, as well as government agencies.

    Various members of the NWBA leadership, including board member and two-time Paralympian Will Waller and Coach Lykins, spent several hours with the group discussing governance, funding, equipment and development of players and coaches, among other areas.

    Growing the game in Zambia and other African nations is a priority of the IWBF, and as proven in the development of the sport in countries such as Afghanistan and India can attest, it can have tremendous positive social effect on the lives of those with a disability.

    Oh yeah, the game.

    In that triple-overtime game, the Kings Joe Chambers, a USA Paralympian in 2008, shot for 61 points. Dallas was determined that this game was going to be shorter and sweeter, establishing a small lead that continued to grow.

    Chambers would still be the king of Kings with 30 points, but that wouldn't even beat the spread as the Mavericks killed the drama early, winning by 33, 85-22. Bobbie Nickleberry led the Mavs with 22 with Aaron Gouge adding 21 and Jay Nelms 19.

    That big three will square off with the Knicks holy trinity of Anderson, Eng and Serio on Saturday. Will it be a sweet sixteen and four-peat for Dallas or will New York repeat their 2014 win over the Texas titans?

    I'll get back to you on that.

    In a rematch of last year’s Adult Division I National Championships, the New York Rollin’ Knicks and Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks faced off on Saturday, April 14 at 4:00 p.m. EST

    The game was neck and neck throughout the first half, with both teams playing strong, physical defense and neither team gaining a significant lead. By the end of the third quarter, the Knicks held a nine point lead over their Texan rivals. But that all fell apart when the Mavs went on a 12-0 run to open the fourth quarter. The Knicks were able to regain composure, but could not make a basket with 1.3 seconds left in regulation when the game was tied 54-54.

    Once overtime hit however, the Knicks put the pedal to the medal. Led by the one-two punch of Steve Serio and Pat Anderson, the Knicks opened overtime with a 5-0 run and won the game 72-59. The Knicks were finally able to avenge their championship losses to the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks in both 2015 and 2017.

    The Adult Division II championships kicked off the Adult Division Championship games on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. EST. The NMCSD Wolfpack was the only West Coast team in any NWBA division to make it to a championship game and defeated the Toronto Rollin’ Raptors, 51-25 to become the Adult Division II National Champions. The Wolfpack started the game with a 10-0 run and kept a strong lead throughout the entire game.

    In the Adult Division III pool, the three seed RHI Pacers beat the five seed Harrisonburg Cardinals in a very close matchup, 44-42. The game was within six points the whole game, keeping the crowd energized after a full day of games.

    The Junior Divisions played their semi-final games on Saturday to set the stage for their championship games on Sunday. In Junior Varsity Division, the one seed TIRR Hermann Memorial Jr. Hotwheels beat the WASA Jr. Bucks, who entered the tournament as the four seed, 74-52. On the other side of the semi-final bracket, the three seed RHI Racers defeated the two seed Blazesport Jr. Hawks, 56-47. The Hotwheels and Hawks will match up in the championship game on Sunday, April 15, 2:00 p.m. EST.

    In the Junior NIT Division, the 17 seed Mary Free Bed Pacers will play in the championships after defeating the Synergy Jr. Bulls in the semi-finals in a tight game, 57-56. The 22 seed Motor City Wheels will be their opponents in the championships after the Wheels beat the 18 seed Mad City Badgers, 32-27, in the semi finals. The NIT Championship game will kick off the Junior Division Championship games on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. EST.

    The Junior Prep Division gave fans thrilling semi-finals games as well on Saturday. The Charlotte Rolling Hornets – Purple, who entered the tournament at the three seed, best the two seed LWSRA Jr. Hawks, 24-17. The other prep semi-final game ended with the one seed Minnesota Rolling Rowdies eeking out the victory against the Lakeshore Sharks, 24-21. The Hornets and Sharks will face off in the championship game on Sunday at noon.

    All championship games on Sunday will be available for viewing at www.nwba.org/livestream.

    These are the award winners for the Adult Divisions:

    Adult Division I

    1st Team All-Tournament

    1. Bobbie Nickelberry of the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks
    2. Pat Anderson of the New York Rollin’ Knicks
    3. Tyrone Griner of the University of Arizona Wildcats
    4. Jason Nelms of the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks
    5. Jermell Pennie of the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks

    2nd Team All-Tournament

    1. Joseph Chambers of the Sacramento Rollin’ Kings
    2. Nick Goncin of the Toronto Rollin’ Raptors
    3. Bryce Doody of the MedStar NRH Punishers
    4. Trevon Jennifer of the MedStar NRH Punishers
    5. Kevin Grant of the New York Rollin’ Knicks

    3rd Team All-Tournament

    1. David Eng of the New York Rollin’ Knicks
    2. Alphonsis To of the Seattle Sonics
    3. Derrick Bissnett of the Denver Rolling Nuggets
    4. Aaron Gouge of the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks
    5. Tyler Miller of the Toronto Rollin’ Raptors

    Adult Division I Tournament MVP

    Steve Serio of the New York Rollin’ Knicks

    Captain James S. Ure Sportsmanship Award

    Michelle Jenkins of the Sacramento Rollin’ Kings

     

    Adult Division II

    1st Team All-Tournament

    1. Benjamin Tumack of the Toronto Rollin’ Raptors
    2. Fred Esman of the Austin Rec’ers
    3. Erica Gavel of the Toronto Rollin’ Raptors
    4. Jhoonar Barrea of the NMCSD Wolfpack
    5. John Boie of the Wisconsin Thunder

    2nd Team

    1. Mike Hudson of the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets
    2. Chris St. Remy of the Nassau Kings
    3. Edgar Perdomo of the Maywood Kodiaks
    4. Robbie Gordon of the Tampa Bay Strong Dawgs
    5. Elodie Tessier of the Toronto Rollin’ Raptors

    Adult Division II MVP

    Matthew Grashen of the NMCSD Wolfpack

    Sportsmanship Award

    Breanna Clark of the Nassau Kings

     

    Adult Division III

    1st Team All-Tournament

    1. Anthony Alger of the Harrisonburg Cardinals
    2. Tee Foster of the Triangle Thunder
    3. Matt Buchi of the RHI Pacers
    4. James Carter of the Harrisonburg Cardinals
    5. Josh Rodriguez of the Connecticut Spokebenders

    2nd Team All-Tournament

    1. Tim Moworay of the Harrisonburg Cardinals
    2. Jeremy Bittner of the Pittsburgh Steelwheelers
    3. Christian Rivera of the Triangle Thunder
    4. Austin Griffin of the Tyler Thorns
    5. TJ Custer of the Harrisonburg Cardinals

    3rd Team All-Tournament

    1. Robert Reed of the Ability 360 Phoenix Suns
    2. Candice Law of the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets
    3. Nicholas Weiss of the Seattle Sonics
    4. Miles Hill of the Triangle Thunder
    5. Justin South of the Rockford Chariots

    Adult Division III MVP

    Kyle Killworth of the RHI Pacers

    Sportsmanship Awards

    Jon McKana of the Seattle Sonics

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