COLORADO SPRINGS, CO. - The National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) and the High Performance Selection Committee have announced the initial selection of sixteen athletes to the pool for consideration for the 2023 U.S. Men’s Wheelchair Basketball National Team. These selections were made at the conclusion of the 2023 U.S.A Men’s Parapan American Games (PPAG) Selection Camp hosted August 16-20 at the United States Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.
The pool of initial selections includes 11 athletes from the gold medal winning U.S. Men’s team from the 2022 International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) World Championships that was held in Dubai, United Emirates, on July 9-20, 2023. The pool of athletes also includes seven athletes from the gold medal winning U.S. Men’s team from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Steve Serio (Westbury, NY) is among those initially selected after helping the squad recently capture its first gold medal since 2002 at the IWBF World Championships in Dubai. One of the most recognizable players in the sport, Serio brings a cache like no other, having made four Paralympic appearances and boasting a trophy case that features three Paralympic medals (2012 bronze, 2016 gold, 2020 gold) and an ESPY Award for Best Male Athlete with a Disability in 2017. Serio seeks to earn a roster spot for a chance at a third podium finish at the Parapan American Games after earning gold in 2011, 2015 and 2019. In addition, he is a five-time medalist at Worlds (2022 gold, 2018 silver, 2014 silver, 2010 bronze, 2006 silver).
Brian Bell (Birmingham, AL) remains in the pool of athletes in consideration for the U.S. Men roster after winning gold at the 2022 IWBF World Championships, dropping a team-high 18 points in the medal-clinching victory. Bell’s resume speaks for itself, having been a member of the last two U.S. Men’s teams that won gold medals at the Paralympics (2020 and 2016). In addition to his Paralympic accolades, Bell looks to have the opportunity for another podium finish at the Parapan American Games after collecting gold medals in 2015 and 2019. Bell is also a three-time medalist at Worlds (2022 gold, 2018 silver, 2014 silver) in addition to a 2023 NWBA Division I National Championship with the Golden State Road Warriors.
Trevon Jenifer (Huntington, MD) is selected to the pool on the heels of claiming gold at the 2022 IWBF World Championships. Jenifer’s trophy case also includes three Paralympic medals (2012 bronze, 2016 gold, 2020 gold). Jenifer aims to return to the podium at the Parapan Games after being a part of the 2011, 2015 and 2019 gold medal squads. Jenifer is a three-time medalist at Worlds, also claiming a silver medal at both the 2014 and 2018 events.
Jake Williams (Milwaukee, WI) remains in the pool after helping Team USA win a gold medal at the 2022 IWBF World Championships, averaging a team-best 15.7 points per contest. Williams is a two-time Paralympic medalist, claiming gold at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics and 2016 Rio Paralympics. In addition, he captured a silver medal at the 2018 World Championships. Williams looks to return to the podium at the Parapan Games after winning a gold medal in Lima in 2019. A University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Alum, Williams returned to his alma mater to serve as head coach this past season.
Jorge Sanchez (Oakland, CA) looks to add to his accolades by making the final U.S. Men's roster adding to his recent gold at the 2022 World Championships. Sanchez made his Paralympic debut in 2020, winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. Sanchez also earned a silver medal at the 2018 IWBF World Championships, while securing gold at the 2017 IWBF Americas Cup and 2019 Parapan American Games. Also recently, Sanchez helped the Golden State Road Warriors secure the 2023 NWBA Division I National Championship.
John Boie (Milton, WI) continues his 2023 campaign looking to make the final roster to be able to produce a third consecutive gold medal performance, having earned a gold medal at the 2022 Americas Cup and 2022 IWBF World Championships. Boie had a successful Paralympic debut in 2020, winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Paralympics. No shortage of accolades, Boie also earned a silver medal at the 2018 IWBF World Championships, while securing gold at the 2017 IWBF Americas Cup and 2019 Parapan American Games.
Ryan Neiswender (Lebanon, PA) is among the initial selections after helping Team USA capture gold at the 2022 World Championships. Neiswender looks to be on the roster to attempt to win a second gold medal at the Parapan American Games after securing gold in Lima in 2019. Neiswender was also a member of the gold-medal winning squad at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. In addition, he has previously helped the U.S. secure gold medals at both the 2013 and 2017 IWBF Americas Cup.
The pool of initial selections includes Jorge Salazar (Delano, CA), who is looking to return to the Team USA lineup after earning a gold medals at the 2022 IWBF Americas Cup and World Championships. Salazar was first named to Team USA when he was a member of the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team that captured gold at the 2017 IWBF Americas Cup and was named an alternate for U.S. Men’s squads in 2019 and 2020. Salazar is a retired U.S. Marine Corps Corporal that has been awarded the Bronze Star and is a Purple Heart recipient.
Fabian Romo (Chicago, IL) will continue his effort to be selected to his fifth Team USA roster after representing the U.S. at the 2022 IWBF World Championships, where he helped the team win a gold medal. Romo was also a contributing member of the U.S. Men’s squad that claimed gold at the 2022 Americas Cup. In addition to being an alternate for the U.S. Men’s roster in 2020, Romo earned his first Team USA experience in 2017 at the IWBF Under 23 (U23) America’s Zonal Qualifier and IWBF U23 World Championships.
Talen Jourdan (Deerfield, WI) will remain in consideration for final selection after contributing to a gold-medal performance at the 2022 World Championships. Jourdan was also a contributing member of the U.S. Men’s teams that produced a pair of gold medal finishes at the 2022 Americas Cup and the U.S. U23 Men’s team at the IWBF U23 American's Zonal Qualifier in March 2022.
Jeromie Meyer (Woodbine, IA) was an initial selection affording him the chance to make his fifth Team USA squad. He was a member of the U.S. Men’s teams that secured gold medals at the 2022 World Championships and Americas Cup. Meyer earned his first national team roster spots at the IWBF U23 America’s Zonal Qualifier and IWBF U23 World Championships in 2017.
Making his first initial selection AJ Fitzpatrick (Cedar Rapids, IA) will strive to achieve his goal of making a Team USA final roster. Fitzpatrick just wrapped up his freshman campaign at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, landing a spot on the Intercollegiate Division All-Rookie Team.
Luke Robinson (Everett, WA) selection to the pool for the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team is a first time in his career. The Auburn student-athlete earned his first spots on a Team USA roster in 2022. Robinson was a member of the gold medal winning U.S. team at the IWBF U23 America’s Zonal Qualifier and the U.S. team that competed at the IWBF U23 World Championships.
Being among the initial selections Derrick Bisnett (Iowa City, IA) will continue his effort to earn the opportunity to wear “USA” on his chest. Bisnett was named an alternate for the U.S. Men’s team that secured gold at the 2022 World Championships. Bisnett found success as a Warhawk at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater winning three consecutive national championships and being named MVP of the Intercollegiate Division.
Ben Thornton (Santa Rose, CA) joins the pool for the U.S. Men’s Senior National Team for the first time in his young career. Thorton was named an alternative for Team USA at the 2022 World Championships in Dubai. Thornton plays collegiately at the University of Arizona, where he earned All-America Honorable Mention recognition in 2023.
Peter Berry (Houston, TX) will be working at making his fourth U.S. roster after being named an alternate for the 2022 World Championships. Berry was a member of both U.S. Men's U23 teams in 2022. Berry was also a member of the gold medal winning U.S. Men's Senior National Team at the 2022 IWBF Americas Cup in Brazil. Collegiately Berry plays at the University of Alabama, leading the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 2023 while also earning Second Team All-American laurels.
Assisting Head Coach Robb Taylor with team preparations are:
Assistant Coach Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri
Assistant Coach Michael Paye of Warren, Michigan
Assistant Coach Christian Burkett of Seattle, Washington
Team Leader Tony Frescas of Omaha, Nebraska
Athletic Trainer Jeremy Johnson of Dothan, Alabama
Strength and Conditioning Coach Katie McClosky of Houston, Texas
Sports Dietitian Marta Scechura of Chicago, Illinois
Sport Psychologist Adam O’Neil of Boulder, Colorado
The initially selected athletes will continue to train and compete for a final roster spot on the 2023 U.S.A Men’s Wheelchair Basketball National Team. Those selected to the final team roster will represent Team USA at the 2023 Parapan American Games in Santiago, Chile on November 17-26. Team USA is slated to compete in ‘Group B’ of the men’s competition.
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