RICHMOND, VA - The National Wheelchair Basketball Association Preseason National Invitation Tournament presented by CarMax started with some fierce competition on Friday, October 20 in the EJ Wade Arena at the Virginia Commonwealth University Stuart C. Siegel Center. The NWBA Preseason NIT is hosting eight Junior Varsity Division teams, eight Adult Division II teams and four Adult Division III teams.
The Adult Division II tournament was highlighting by top teams and featured some great games to start the tourney. The fifth ranked Fort Lauderdale Sharks kickoff their 2017-18 campaign against host team and 12th ranked Sportable Rim Riders. The Sharks led 28-12 at halftime, though Manuel Rodriguez scored 10 of his 12 points in the second half to defeat the Rim Riders 46-30. The Rim Riders’ scoring leader was Mark Hartney with 11 points. The big upset of the night came in the San Antonio Spurs and Charlottesville Cardinals game. The Spurs entered the game in the No. 2 spot for the Adult Division II Preseason Rankings, however the ninth ranked Cardinals shocked the Spurs with a final score of 51-42 for the Cardinals. The Cardinals were led by Andrea Woodson-Smith 13 points and the Spurs were led by Justin Larson with 15 points. The “best” game of the night was the third ranked Nassau Kings verse the 10th ranked Magee Spokesmen. After being down 17-22 at half time, the Kings stormed back to a 48-42 victory over the Spokesman. The Kings were led by a great shooting performance by Chris St. Remy with 20 points. The last Adult Division II game of the night was the eighth ranked Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets and the Delaware Destroyers. The Hornets came out of the gates strong and led start to finish with a commanding victory 64-42. The Hornets spread the ball around with three players scoring at least 10 points.
The Junior Varsity Division opened with the RHI Racers playing the Fairfax Falcons. The Racers were led by Nick Oman with 18 points of the team total of 34 in the first half. The first half shooting performance by the Racers were too much for the Falcons to overcome as the Racers secured a 54-24 victory. Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets vs. Katie’s Komets was second game during the 6:15pm time slot. The Hornets were directed on offense by Elizabeth Becker with 14 points and Andre DeWitt with 12 points. Joseph Rafter was the scoring leader for the Komets with 12 points. The Courage Kenny Jr. Rolling Timberwolves and TIRR Houston Hotwheels were showcased on the feature court as top talented teams in the Junior Varsity Division for the 8:15pm tip. The fast pace play of Carrington Marendes allowed him to amass 24 points for the Hotwheels in a 53-35 victory. The points leader for the Timberwolves was Grady Gordon with 18. The Sportable Spokes captured a win with a forfeit by the Bridge II Sports Jr. Thunder to round out the play for Junior Varsity Division.
The sole game on Friday night for the Adult Division III was the Pittsburgh SteelWheelers vs. RCRC Lightning with an 8:15pm tip. The RCRC Lightning received an exceptional game from Travis Anderson as he managed to score a game total of 27 points. The offensive surge by Anderson and teammates helped the RCRC Lightning cruise to a 50-42 victory
The NWBA Preseason NIT presented by CarMax is held in conjunction with the first annual National Wheelchair Basketball Week, a week-long celebration of wheelchair basketball and the progress the sport has made since founded in 1948.
For more information on the tournament please visit https://sportable.org/preseasonNIT/. Check the NWBA website and social media sites for more updates on the NWBA Preseason NIT.
The championship games on Sunday, October 22nd will be streamed live on the NWBA Facebook page. The champion game times are as follows: Adult Division III at 10:00 am, Junior Varsity Division at 12:00 pm and Adult Division II at 2:00 pm.