RICHMOND, VIRGINIA - Sportable, Richmond’s Paralympic adaptive sports club, is partnering with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association to host the NWBA Preseason National Invitation Tournament presented by CarMax October 20-22. This three-day tournament will take place in conjunction with the inaugural National Wheelchair Basketball Week and will be the official kickoff to the 2017-2018 NWBA Season. The EJ Wade Arena at the VCU Stuart C. Siegel Center will host the tournament and feature the top NWBA Adult and NWBA Junior wheelchair basketball teams from all over the country.
“We are thrilled to partner with Sportable and have our season kickoff in Richmond,” said NWBA Executive Director Anthony Bartkowski. “This tournament is going to close out the first ever National Wheelchair Basketball Week, a time when we can recognize some of the best athletes in the country. This will be great for our sport and for athletes with disabilities. Having this event in Richmond with such great partners like Sportable, Richmond Region Tourism, and CarMax is a great opportunity for our sport.”
“Bringing some of the best wheelchair basketball players in the country to Richmond is fantastic for the area and is further proof that Richmond is a sports destination,” said Sportable Executive Director Hunter Leemon. “It will be a great opportunity for our teams, the Spokes and Rim Riders, to play some of the country’s best competition in our own backyard. As well, we are excited to have the tournament at VCU’s Siegel Center, one of the premiere sports facilities in Richmond. As well, we are grateful to our two great partners at CarMax and Richmond Region Tourism for helping to make this tournament happen.”
The NWBA Preseason NIT presented by CarMax will feature a total of 28 top NWBA teams across four divisions. The eight-team tournament will be a double elimination tournament, with the Junior Division Prep tournament being a four-team round robin tournament.
The NWBA Adult Division will feature eight teams from Division I, with the top eight teams from the 2017 NWBT presented by ABC Medical receiving automatic invites. The Sportable Rim Riders will compete in the Division II Tournament, and invite seven other top-ranked teams to the EJ Wade Arena at the VCU Stuart C. Siegel Center.
“It’s a great fit for CarMax to partner with Sportable and the NWBA to bring a tournament of this caliber to Richmond as it embodies our core values of diversity and teamwork as well as our focus on providing health and wellness opportunities for all,” said Leslie Parpart, Director, Community Relations at CarMax. “We are proud to call Richmond home and know that visitors to our community will see why we have known it’s such a great place to live, work, and play.”
The Sportable Spokes, winners of the 2016 Junior Division National Invitation Tournament, will roll into the Preseason NIT presented by CarMax in its backyard against seven other top NWBA Varsity teams. The Varsity tournament will also serve as a NWBA Junior Division Regional qualifier with the top two placing teams receiving automatic bids for the 2018 NWBT presented by ABC Medical.
A Junior Prep tournament will feature four teams in a round-robin tournament format. The prep division is for athletes 13 and under.
“Richmond Region Tourism is excited to partner with Sportable and the National Wheelchair Basketball Association to host the inaugural Preseason NIT event in our own backyard” said J.C. Poma, Richmond Region Tourism Sports Development Manager. “The Richmond Region serves as a host destination for all types of sporting events showcasing the talents of athletes with all abilities. The 2017 NWBA Preseason NIT presented by CarMax is a fantastic addition to another exciting year for sports in the Richmond Region and further shows that the Richmond Region is truly a sports community for all.”
The NWBA Preseason National Invitation Tournament presented by CarMax will kickoff on Friday, October 20 and conclude the afternoon of Sunday, October 22. Throughout the weekend teams will compete for the right to play for the tournament championship in their bracket on Sunday. All championship games will take place on the championship court at the EJ Wade Arena at VCU’s Stuart C. Siegel Center on Sunday. Brackets and schedules will be released in September.