COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The NWBA High Performance Committee is excited to announce that Melanie Brionez of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Mieko Chambers of Davis, California, and Trice Ham III of Alvin, Texas will join the team staff for the 2019 U.S. Women’s U25 World Championship Team. Brionez and Chambers will serve as assistant coaches, while Ham will fill the role of team leader. As previously announced Trooper Johnson will serve in the role of head coach for the 2019 U.S. Women’s U25 World Championship Team.
“I'm really excited to inject some new blood into the coaching pool,” Johnson said. “It’s always exciting to see new coaches get the opportunity to gain international experience.”
Melanie Brionez has spent over two decades involved with the sport of wheelchair basketball. She played for over 14 years in the Junior Division, Intercollegiate Division and Women's Division. Brionez has spent the last six years coaching the Albuquerque Kings at the Adult Division I. Brionez hopes her addition to the staff injects even more fun into the spirit of the team.
"First and foremost, I think a key element to my philosophy is that the players need to have fun so that they can enjoy playing," Brionez said. "Part of that also comes from my coaching passion and positive energy around the team".
Mieko Chambers joins Team USA having coached sports in general for 17 years. Chambers has over 12 years coaching in women’s soccer and five years in wheelchair basketball. She is currently coaching the Sacramento Rollin’ Kings of Adult Division I. Coaching a new crop of young talent is no challenge for Chambers, as she plans to get to know each player and bring out the most in them.
"Not all athletes are motivated in the same ways," Chambers said. "My personal opinion in order to get the best out of each one of them, you have to be willing to put in time and effort to get to know them and how they best function.”
Trice Ham III has a decorated coaching career having won three Varsity National Championships in the NWBA Junior Division in his 9-year coaching career. Additionally, Ham has seven Southwest Jr. Conference Championships and countless tournament championships to his credit. He currently coaches the TIRR Memorial Hermann Jr. Hotwheels.
"I love this sport and I love to win," Hamm says. "I am aware that my experience may not be at as high a level as some other coaches, but I have been consistently successful in the opportunities I have been given. I am eager to learn from the more experienced coaches on the staff and I believe that in some instances, a fresh perspective can be invaluable."
The 2019 U.S. Women’s U25 World Championship Team will compete at the 2019 IWBF Women’s U25 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships on May 23 to May 28, 2019 in Suphanburi, Thailand. Please make sure to visit www.nwba.org and the NWBA on social media for updates on the team.
About U.S. U25 Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team
The U.S. Women’s U25 Wheelchair Basketball Team is an international development team that serves as our pipeline to the U.S. Women’s National Team. This program gives our elite youth athletes the opportunity to compete at the international level, obtain their official IWBF Classification and may be entered into the pipeline of athletes for future U.S. Women’s Teams. Team USA won gold at the inaugural IWBF Women’s U25 World Championship in 2011 held in St. Catharines, Canada. The U.S. did not participate in the event in 2015 in Beijing, China.