COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The University of Wisconsin at Whitewater and the University of Missouri wheelchair basketball teams are well represented on the 2017 U.S. Men’s U23 World Championships Team, announced by the NWBA on Saturday. The University of Wisconsin at Whitewater secured five positions, with the University of Missouri placing three athletes on the team that will attempt to qualify for the 2017 IWBF U23 Men’s World Championships in Toronto, Canada, in June.
Leading the way for the Whitewater team are Kyle Gribble of Elmhurst, Illinois, and John Schwartz of Osceola, Indiana, who both helped the Warhawks to a National title in the 2015-16 season. Mark Krenz II of Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Collin Evans of Mondovi, Wisconsin; and Drew Selz of Waterford, Wisconsin, round out the five athletes from Whitewater.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater has produced numerous U.S. Paralympians, and is a perennial force in the NWBA’s Intercollegiate Division. The Warhawks have won six of the last nine National Championships, all under the guidance of head coach Jeremy Lade of Whitewater, Wisconsin, who is also the head coach of the U.S. U23 Men’s team.
“We are very excited with the entire group of athletes that made our selection process very difficult, which is a testament to the level of the athletes selected to represent our country at the U23 World Championships,” said Lade. “The team has a great mix of talent that lends itself well to the faster pace of the international game. We are looking forward to the challenges of getting the talent we have to play well together and represent our country.”
Representing the Mizzou Tigers are Marshall Lindsay of Stansbury Park, Utah; Tyler Malone of Arlington, Texas; and Joe Underwood of Phoenix, Arizona.
The University of Nebraska at Omaha has two athletes on the team with Jeromie Meyer II of Woodbine, Iowa, and Brent Regier of Henderson, Nebraska.
Rounding out the 12-athlete roster are Fabian Romo of Missouri City, Texas, who plays for the University of Texas at Arlington, and Chayse Wolf of Wilmington, Ohio, who rolls for Edinboro University.
The U23 Selection Committee identified four athletes as alternates, which includes Peter Berry of Houston, Texas, and Josh Joines of Kennesaw, Georgia, a pair of upcoming high school athletes. Steve Eischens of Victoria, Minnesota and Abraham Hausman-Weis of Houston, Texas are the other two alternates, who play for Southwest Minnesota State University and University of Alabama, respectively.
Up next, the U.S. team will travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation Continental Qualifer, January 22-29. The United States must place in top two to qualify for the 2017 IWBF Men’s U23 World Championships, scheduled for Toronto, Canada, June 8-16.
Joining Lade on the sidelines are assistant coaches Christian Burkett of Seattle, Washington, and Scott Meyer of Columbia, Missouri. Kelly Fischbach will serve as the Team Leader, with Mike Lenser of Whitewater, Wisconsin working at the athletic trainer.
The U23 men’s wheelchair basketball program is an international development team that serves as NWBA pipeline to the U.S. Men’s National Team. This program provides elite youth athletes the opportunity to compete at the international level. Team USA has reached the championship game in three of the last five U23 World Championships, having won in 2005 and 2009. The United States claimed a bronze medal in 2001, and did not participate in 2013.