The 2015 U.S. Women’s Parapan wheelchair basketball team is a finalist for the Team USA Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow, following its gold-medal performance at the 2015 Parapan Games in Toronto, Canada. The U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team defeated reigning world champion Canada, 80-72, and outscored its opponents by an average of 55 points per game. By its win, Team USA also qualified for the Rio 2016 Paralympics.
The Women’s team, led by captains Darlene Hunter of Commerce Township, Mich., and Desiree Miller of Monroe, Wash., dominated the Parapan Games with a 5-0 record that included preliminary victories over Argentina, 91-14, Peru, 88-13, and El Salvador, 77-8. In the medal rounds, Team USA continued its domination with a 80-18 victory over Brazil in the semifinals.
The gold-medal game was redemption for Team USA as it avenged its 2014 World Championship fourth-place finish and loss to Canada. Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minn., who scored 37 points in the final contest, scored the first six points of the game and sealed Team USA’s victory as she drained four free throws in the final minute for the 80-72 victory.
Rebecca Murray of Germantown, Wis., led the team in scoring through five game with 72 points, followed by Hollermann, who was 31 for 55 in shots for a total of 68 points. Kimberly Champion of Vidalia, Ga., tallied 59 points but only played 57 minutes in five games. Miller contributed 63 points for the tournament and Abigail Dunkin of New Braunfels, Texas, recorded 55.
Rounding out Team USA’s 416 total points were: Gail Gaeng of Frederick, Md. (12 for 25 and 28 pts.); Christina Schwab of Dane, Wis. (10 for 19 and 21 pts.); Mackenzie Soldan of Hemlock, Mich. (8 for 17 and 16 pts.); Hunter (6 for 12 and 12 pts.); Megan Blunk of Gig Harbor, Wash. (4 for 13 and 9 pts.); Jennifer Poist of McSherrystown, Pa. (3 for 6 and 7 pts.); and Jennifer Chew of Antioch, Calif. (3 for 6 and 6 points).
The U.S. women’s team was led by U.S. women’s head coach Stephanie Wheeler of Norlina, N.C., and assistant coaches Dan Price of St. Paul, Minn., and Trooper Johnson of Albuquerque, N.M..
Voting for the Team USA Awards is open from Nov. 5-20. All fans are encouraged to participate in the online fan voting at TeamUSA.org/awards, as the online fan vote accounts for 50 percent of the final tally, while members of the Olympic and Paralympic family – including an esteemed panel of Olympic and Paralympic journalists – account for the other 50 percent.
Also in consideration for the Paralympic Team of the Year, presented by Dow, is the Men’s Archery team and the Men’s Sled Hockey team, who each won their respective World Championships in 2015. For all of the finalists for the Team USA Awards presented by Dow, click the link below to see more.
The award winners will be announced during the Team USA Awards ceremony, presented by Dow, Best of the Year, to be held Dec. 10 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Houston Hall in Philadelphia. The awards show will be televised on NBCSN on Dec. 27 from 3-4 p.m. ET.