COLORADO SPRINGS - The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is proud to announce the final roster for the 2019 U.S. Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team. This selection was made at the conclusion of the three-day Toyota Team USA Women’s Selection Camp, at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The 2019 U.S. Women’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 Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, CA, will lead the 2019 Toyota Team USA Women’s Senior National Team into the competition. Johnson said having both the U25 Training Camp and the Senior Selection camp at the same time allowed him and the staff to focus on getting the younger players experience competing against veteran talent before World Championships in Thailand.
"It was a pretty amazing camp," Johnson said. "The younger athletes got to see some of the veterans coming back and see what they're going to be going up against the next couple of years as we prepare for Tokyo. Those last few scrimmages were impressive."
The group of 12 athletes boasts a veteran talent blended with a core of younger elite athletes. The team includes six members of the iconic U.S. gold medal-winning team from the 2016 Rio Paralympics. The roster also returns seven athletes from the 2018 IWBF World Championship Team and five athletes from the most recent Parapan American Games held in Toronto in 2015.
Among the final selection of athletes from the gold-medal winning 2016 Rio Paralympic team are Megan Blunk (Gig Harbor, WA), Abigail Dunkin (New Braunfels, TX), Rose Hollermann (Elysian, MN), Darlene Hunter (Commerce, MI), Rebecca Murray (Germantown, WI), and Natalie Schneider (Ord, NE).
Courtney Ryan (Chula Vista, CA) will represent Team USA once again after her first appearance on the squad in 2014 at the IWBF World Championships. Josie Aslakson (Jordan, MN), Kaitlyn Eaton (Houston, TX), Bailey Moody (Alpharetta, GA), Alejandra Ibanez (Salt Lake City, UT), and Lindsey Zurbrugg (Portland,OR) secured spot on the U.S. Women’s team after being part of the squad in 2017 and 2018.
Murray and Schneider played together on the 2012 and 2008 Paralympic teams, winning their first Paralympic gold at the 2008 Beijing Paralympics. They also played together during the 2011 ParaPan American Games where the U.S. Women won gold. The pair secured gold at the 2010 IWBF World Championships in Great Britain as well.
Blunk joins the roster for the first time since 2016 where the U.S. Women’s team captured gold at the Rio Paralympics. Blunk also won a gold medal for the U.S. at the 2015 Parapan American Games.
Two-time Paralympian Rose Hollerman and teammate Abigail Dunkin played together at the 2017 America’s Cup Zonal Qualifier and 2015 ParaPan American Games, bringing home the silver in 2017 and a gold medal in 2015.
Hunter will be joining the U.S. Women’s team for her second ParaPan American Games, first representing the U.S. in 2015 in Toronto. Hunter was a member of the U.S. Paralympic team in 2012 as well.
In addition to the 12-player U.S. Women’s National Team, nine players were named as alternate selections to the roster. Those players are: Abigail Bauleke (Savage, MN), Elizabeth Becker (Weddington, NC), Ixhelt Gonzalez (Chicago, IL), Riley Ljungdahl, (Longmont, CO), Emily Oberst (Brookfield, WI), Angelina Welfle (Fort Wayne, IN) and Morgan Wood (Gordonsville, TN).
2019 U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Senior National Team
The 2019 U.S. Women's Senior National Team will represent the U.S. at the 2019 ParaPan American Games from August 23 - September 1 in Lima, Peru.