COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. – The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is proud to announce that 16 athletes will remain in consideration for a roster spot on the 2020 U.S. Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team. This announcement comes at the conclusion of the Toyota Team USA Women’s Selection Camp, a three-day camp at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. The sixteen athletes will continue to battle for a roster spot on the 2020 U.S. Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team that compete at the 2020 Paralympic Games from August 25 to September 6 in Tokyo, Japan.
“It was a great camp. The athletes came more prepared than we expected, and they made our job tough,” said 2019 U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Head Coach Trooper Johnson of San Lorenzo, CA.
The group of 16 athletes proves to be rich with veteran talent blended with a core of younger elite athletes. The pool includes six members of the iconic U.S. gold medal-winning team from the 2016 Rio Paralympics. The roster also returns all 12 athletes from the silver medal 2019 Parapan American Games team.
1. Josie Aslakson
2. Abigail Bauleke
3. Elizabeth Becker
4. Megan Blunk
5. Abigail Dunkin
6. Kaitlyn Eaton
7. Ixhelt Gonzalez
8. Shelby Gruss
9. Rose Hollermann
10. Darlene Hunter
11. Alejandra Ibanez
12. Bailey Moody
13. Rebecca Murray
14. Courtney Ryan
15. Natalie Schneider
16. Lindsey Zurbrugg
Among the athletes are two power players from the gold-medal winning team from the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, Rebecca Murray of Germantown, WI and Natalie Schneider of Ord, NE. Murray and Schneider played together on the 2012 and 2008 Paralympic teams, winning their first Paralympic gold at the 2008 Beijing games. They also played together during the 2011 Parapan American Games where the U.S. Women won gold and the 2019 Parapan American Games where the U.S. Women won silver. The pair secured gold at the 2010 IWBF World Championships in Birmingham, Great Britain.
Megan Blunk of Gig Harbor, WA joins the roster of hopefuls as a returning member from the 2019 silver medal Parapan American Games team and the 2016 gold medal Rio Paralympic Games team. Blunk also won a gold medal for the U.S. at the 2015 Parapan American Games.
Two-time Paralympian Rose Hollermann of Elysian, MN continues her quest for a spot on the 2020 U.S. Women’s team. Hollerman won gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games alongside Abigail Dunkin of New Braunfels, TX. Hollermann and Dunkin recently took home gold medals from the 2019 U25 IWBF World Championships. The duo also played together at the 2017 America’s cup, 2015 Parapan American Games, and 2019 Parapan American Games bringing home silver in 2017, a gold in 2015 and silver in 2019.
Darlene Hunter of Commerce, MI has her sight set on joining the U.S. Women’s team for her third Paralympic Games, first representing the U.S. at the London 2012 Paralympics. Hunter was a member of the gold winning team at the 2016 Rio Paralympic games, the 2011 Parapan American Games, the 2015 Parapan American Games, and the 2010 IWBF World Championships.
Courtney Ryan of Chula Vista, CA hopes to represent Team USA once again after winning silver on the 2019 Parapan American Games team. Ryan’s first appearance on the squad was in 2014 at the IWBF World Championships.
Kaitlyn Eaton of Houston, TX enters the pool of athletes after making the U.S. Women’s team for the last three years. Eaton hopes to return to the podium after capturing a silver medal at the 2017 America’s Cup Zonal Qualifier.
Alejandra Ibanez of Salt Lake City, UT and Shelby Gruss of Ossian, Indiana joined Team USA at the 2017 America’s Cup where they took home a silver medal. Bailey Moody of Alpharetta, GA joined Team USA a year later at the 2018 IWBF World Championships. Both Ibanez and Moody recently won a gold medal representing the U.S at the 2019 U25 IWBF World Championships and a silver medal representing the U.S at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru.
Lindsey Zurbrugg of their Portland, OR and Josie Aslakson of Jordan, MN, were members of the silver medal 2017 America’s Cup team. Ixhelt Gonzalez of Chicago, IL joined Zurbrugg and Aslakson representing Team USA at the 2018 IWBF World Championships and the 2019 U25 IWBF World Championships, winning gold at the later.
The first appearance on the national stage for Abigail Bauleke of Savage, MN and Elizabeth Becker of Weddington, NC was the 2019 U25 IWBF World Championships.
The 2020 U.S. Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team will select the final roster for the 2020 Paralympic games at the next Toyota Team USA Selection Camp scheduled for February 6-9 at the Olympic and Paralympic Training Center.