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Developing Female Athletes Hone Their Skills

11/14/2017, 10:30am CST
By Kimberly Kasper, NWBA

2017 Women's Development Camp

COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – The National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) hosted the 2017 Women’s Development Camp this past weekend, November 9-13, at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The NWBA hosts annual development camps for both men and women.

 “It has been amazing, this is my first time to Colorado Springs and the whole facility [Olympic Training Center].  It has been so great because it’s a whole different atmosphere, seeing athletes all around you training to be on the same team, Team USA. It was such a great experience to be taught by Trooper and to keep learning and developing as an athlete,” said Elizabeth “Lizzy” Becker of the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets of Charlotte, North Carolina.

Participants traveled from various places across the nation including California, North Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Illinois, and Indiana and ranged from 13 to 40 years old.

“It was really fun; we got to play with girls our age or older girls with more experience. It was a great opportunity to play with just women,” said Ixhelt Gonzalez age 13, of the Chicago SkyHawks Junior Prep team of Chicago, Illinois.

The NWBA Women’s Development Camp was led by U.S. Women’s National Team Head Coach Trooper Johnson of San Lorenso, California and assisted by Coach Amy Spangler of Madison, Wisconsin. The Development Camp was an opportunity for female athletes to gain exposure to the U.S. National Team’s coaching team and experience similar training and instruction similar to that of the U.S. National Team’s athlete.

 “Here at the development camp, I have learned so much and Trooper is such an amazing coach. He makes it so easy to learn and to learn new things without pressure,” said Juliane Cunningham of Wheat Ridge, Colorado. Cunningham plays for the Denver Jr. Rollin’ Nuggets of Longmont, Colorado.

Instruction and training from Coach Johnson included: over 20 hours of on-court instruction, individual video analysis of pushing mechanics and shooting form, advanced individual skills drills, strength and conditioning techniques, detailed player evaluation, benchmarks for individual player development and personalized take-home drills.

 “I’ve learned a lot about my pushing mechanics, perfecting my shooting form, and learning how to better my skills while not on the court. I have definitely learned a lot about myself this week. It has been a really fun experience,” said Ella Rodriguez of BORP Jr. Road Warriors of San Lorenzo, California

“The biggest takeaway is ball movement, internationally and nationally. I realized how fast time flies; there’s only 24 seconds on the shot clock. Having ball movement is really important and working together to make the ball move. For me it was really getting confidence in my shot where and when to take it and I really think those things ill really try to bring back to my home town,” said camp attendee Lizzy Becker.

The NWBA will be hosting the 2017 NWBA Men’s Development Camp on December 16-20 at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m. MST on Wednesday, November 15. Please visit for more information and to registration. For questions please contact Brandon McBeain at

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