Suphanburi, Thailand – Team USA goes undefeated en route to capturing the 2019 IWBF U25 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship, beating Australia 62-25.
Pressure defense defined this U.S. squad throughout this tournament. Whenever Head Coach Trooper Johnson asked his team to clamp down, they answered the call and this game was no different. They forced the Australians into 31 turnovers in this match, which limited them to nearly half the shot attempts of Team USA.
On the offensive end, Team USA started relatively slow compared to earlier games, but that didn’t last long. Co-captain Rose Hollermann of Elysian, MN, led all scorers for Team USA with 18 points. After an 82% shooting performance in the semi-final vs. Japan, Hollerman would go 9 for 15 (60%) against Australia.
Trooper Johnson, USA Head Coach underlined his priorities for this event: “Going for gold in any level of World Championship should always be the most important. But, a very close second was strengthening our pipeline even more. The youth on this team got critical game experience, and I could not be any happier with how well they showed up.”
Coach described that these athletes, of course, have skills to work on to shine at the next level, but he said he wants to them to celebrate with their friends and family who came over to Suphanburi, Thailand to support them.
Two of the athletes who gained significant experience at this tournament are Lindsay Zurbrugg (Portland, OR) and Ixhelt Gonzalez (Chicago, IL). Zurbrugg was the second leading scorer for the Americans with 16 points. Although she has some international experience under her belt, she played an important role as a starter and shooter on this team.
Ixhelt Gonzalez has less experience internationally but came on to the court with the second unit throughout this tournament and made key contributions. In the championship game, she contributed 10 points in 20 minutes while adding 4 rebounds. Her point total in line with her scoring average of 10.4 throughout this tournament. At just 14 years old, she has a lot of promise as a National Team athlete moving forward.
USA has now won 2 out of the last 3 IWBF U25 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships (Team USA sat out of the most recent in Beijing, 2015). The Senior Women’s National Team is preparing for the ParaPan American Games in Lima, Peru this August. For more information and updates, please add www.nwba.org to your favorites.
2019 IWBF U25 World Championships
2018 IWBF World Championships Results
USA def. Turkey 70-16 (W) USA def. Germany 62-11 (W)
USA def. Australia 56-31 (W)
USA def. Thailand 65-10 (W)
USA def. Japan 78-24 (W)
USA def. Australia 62-25 (W)