COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The NWBA and Intercollegiate Division hosted a webinar to help athletes of the Junior Division transition to the Intercollegiate Division on Wednesday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. The recording of this webinar, copy of the presentation and athlete testimonials of the Intercollegiate Division can be seen below.
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO- The NWBA and Intercollegiate Division is excited to announce it will be hosting a webinar to help athletes of the Junior Division transition to the Intercollegiate Division. The webinar will occur on GoToMeeting on Wednesday, May 6 at 7:00 p.m. Eastern time. Each NWBA program within the Intercollegiate Division will present during this meeting. This webinar will answer many questions young athletes may be asking themselves about topics such as talent exposure, finding the right coach and important things to look for in a collegiate program.
"Junior to College" Transition Webinar
Wed, May 6, 2020 7:00 PM Eastern
Please join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone by visiting this link:
You can also join the meeting using your phone:
Conference LIne: (312) 757-3121
Access Code: 685-623-765
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when the meeting starts:
During this webinar, Intercollegiate Division coaches will share extremely helpful tips for Junior Division athletes to prepare them for their collegiate athletic experience. These helpful tips include a checklist for each year of your high school career and skills you should be developing during your time in the Junior Division. The NWBA's elite level Intercollegiate Division coaches are sharing a wealth of great information, don't miss out!
Adan Persad is only 12 years old, but he’s already a standout player for the New York Rolling Fury and has lofty goals for his future in the sport, including, but not limited to; playing in college, overseas, and eventually, in the Paralympics.
Persad started playing wheelchair basketball after his physical therapist suggested trying the sport. After some research and planning, he joined the Rolling Fury, where he has now been playing for three years. This season, the Fury’s have a record of 6-10, with one of the tougher schedules in the country. Outside of wheelchair basketball, he also does wheelchair racing with the New York Road Runners, a training program for youth with disabilities who are interested in racing track. Recently, Persad placed second in the junior age division for wheelchair racing in the New York Marathon.
Out of all of the sports he’s involved in, Persad enthusiastically noted that wheelchair basketball is his favorite. “My favorite part about wheelchair basketball, it's like being able to interact with other people that I can relate to,” said Persad. His mother, Roxann Persad, echoed the statement, explaining that “being a part of the group has really given him that sense of friendship and bond with other kids of the same disability.” Roxanne noted that wheelchair basketball has not only given Persad an increased sense of belonging on and off the court, but also that his involvement has provided him more friendships and “brings a new kind of pride” along with it. Persad’s least favorite part about wheelchair basketball? Having to do sprints drills, otherwise known as ‘Suicides’ in practice.
Looking towards the future, Persad has high goals for the rest of his career. “Eventually my goal is to play overseas. So I want to go to college in Texas [at the] University of Arlington,” said Persad. “And then I want to go play on the New York Rollin Knicks.”
With a bright future ahead of him on the court, Persad brings plenty of youthful, sociable energy in any activity he’s involved in, a legitimate kid at heart. His favorite part of practice that the Fury’s hold twice a week is “getting better” and during away-tournaments, he likes spending time with his teammates by hanging out in their hotel rooms and having parties.
Persad may be 12, but his big goals and determination are easy to see. So watch out Steve Serio, in a few years, Persad is headed your way!
Unlike a large percentage of wheelchair basketball players, Randy Jaramillo started playing far later in life. Jaramillo is 41 years old and plays for the Albuquerque Kings, a Division I team based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Jaramillo started playing 18 years ago, after having his right knee removed due to bone cancer. Previously, he frequently played stand-up basketball and had friends who played wheelchair basketball, so he picked up the sport quickly and joined his local team. Since joining, he’s found a sense of community and learned significant lessons from playing. “Seeing that there are no barriers, no matter what, whether you're disabled in a wheelchair, or you know, you have some sort of impairment—nothing can stop you,” said Jaramillo on what he’s learned from the community and sport.
In 2016, Jaramillo got an invitation to play at the U.S. National Team’s training camp, leading up to the Rio Paraolympics. The camp, held at the University of Texas-Arlington, offered him an opportunity to grow as a player and gain new exposure to the game. The training was daunting at first, as Jaramillo noted, “I didn't have the ability to transition into college ball and take the regular route. So I was....the young inexperienced guy in comparison to all those other guys out there, yet I was one of the oldest ones out there as well.”
While Jaramillo didn’t make the 2016 team, his time at camp made a lasting impression as he was able to showcase different pathway players could take to camp and cross off a bucket list experience. “It allowed me to get some exposure and just really work on my game,” said Jaramillo, “[I] got to meet some great guys. The staff was great. And I was able to learn a lot more about the game—[it] definitely helped me improve my game.” Jaramillo has since taken a step back from the time commitment required to train for future National team camps, in order to raise his two daughters and was inspired by the lessons he learned from wheelchair basketball to get his college degree while working full time.
Jaramillo has taken some of the lessons he learned at camp into his games with the the Kings. The Kings saw tough competition throughout the season, ending the regular season 2-9. Funding has been an issue for the team, as well as occasional player absences during tournaments. “This year has been a challenge. We've started to pick it up later in the season,” said Jaramillo, “But as the seasons progress, I think the chemistry is built quite a bit...I think we're kind of on the upswing, as far as momentum is concerned.”
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The USOPC and DeVry University partnership offers the educational benefits for recognized members of national governing bodies, this includes members of the NWBA. All NWBA members, their immediate siblings, spouses and children are eligible for exclusive savings from DeVry University. NWBA members and their family members each receive:
-One complimentary, accredited, college course
-Up to a 30% partner tuition savings
The NWBA and the USPOC want to give back to our athletes and greatest supporters – YOU! Get started today by visiting the USOPC’s partner page or schedule a one-on-one connect.
Please read below for open house and professional development opportunities below to learn more or start becoming a better you! You will be asked to indicate that you are an active NWBA member.
High school senior Ben Thornton committed to play wheelchair basketball for the University of Arizona, but his career all started with a recommendation and the BORP Jr. Warriors.
Thornton got involved with wheelchair basketball at a young age when his physical therapist recommended that he look into adaptive sports. As a shy kid, he was not sure what to expect, but by the time he was 11, Thornton was already getting involved with varsity team practices. “It just changed my life from there,” said Thornton. “Thinking back on it, I should have [joined earlier], just because of all the people I’ve met...it’s just amazing.”
The Warriors are a varsity team based out of the Bay Area in Berkley, California and have gone 8-6 this season. While they had a shaky season last year due to the loss of some key players, they’ve since bounced back, most recently placing second in the West Coast Conference Championship against ten other teams in their conference.
The team’s most exciting moment came when they placed second place in Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball Invitational towards the end of the January. Coming off a successful season and then losing key players proved to be a struggle for the team, who wasn’t used to seeing so many losses. Their success in Phoenix served as a highlight of the season and proof that they could still compete at that high of a caliber. “It was really eye opening and we were really excited. We were really proud of what we [had] done,” said Thornton regarding their championship win.
Thornton wants to set an example for the younger players on his team so that they can become strong leaders in the future. “They're the future of the program and just teaching them what's right, what's wrong, you know, not just on the court, but off the court as well,” said Thornton.
Thornton himself looks up to the adaptive athletes he watched in the last Paralympics, studying them intensely to improve his own game. He also travels down to LA every summer with some of his teammates to watch the Angel City Games, an adaptive sports festival featuring nine different sports competitions and clinics. He enjoyed watching and learning from members of the US Wheelchair basketball team while he was there. “Getting to interact with people there and learning about different sports is really cool,” said Thornton.
Thornton emphasized the advice and leadership that he learned from playing wheelchair basketball and watching professional athletes: “Even if you fail, you can still try again and you'll succeed the next time. I think that's the key for growing as an athlete when you're young, just to not, not never stop, never give up. Just keep training, working hard, and eventually you'll reach the top.”
Matt is a senior who finished his final season as a Nebraska Red Dawg. Matt’s other athletic pursuits include competing for his high school in wheelchair track and field. Matt competes for Southeast Polk High School where he throws shot put and competes in 200-meter, 400-meter and 800-meter races.
Outside of sports, Matt has many interests including working on classic muscle cars and training service dogs with an organization called the Puppy Jake Foundation.
Matt lives with his family in Des Moines, Iowa, so it means a large commitment to him and his family to go to Omaha every Saturday. When I asked Matt about how traveling to Omaha and being part of the Red Dawgs has changed his life, this is how he responded:
“Every Saturday during the season, I travel roughly 2 and a half hours every Saturday morning. This has changed my life as I feel like a new person, who is outgoing and more friendly towards others. Mom made a deal with me that if I wanted to play wheelchair basketball and she was giving up her Saturdays, I would bring home good grades. My last GPA was 3.5. We both have kept our share of the deal. I am a better student and a well rounded athlete."
When I asked Matt if he had anything he would like to share, here was his piece of advice:
“Don’t give up, each challenge is just a stepping stone.”
Matt’s wheelchair basketball career isn’t over yet. He will be attending the University of Nebraska Omaha next year. “Having an opportunity to play at the higher level means so much to me. It represents the hard work that I have put in both on the court and in the classroom,” Schultz said.
When I asked the future athletic training major what his favorite aspect of wheelchair basketball is Matt told me, “I like the fact that you have to play together, and learn to rely, and trust someone else and together, get the job done.”
Thank you for your great perspective Matt. Thank you to Matt Schultz and his family for allowing me to write about him. The NWBA Junior Division appreciates being part of your journey.
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO - The Intercollegiate Division of the NWBA congratulates the University of Texas at Arlington’s Movin' Mavericks of the Intercollegiate Men's Division for completion of an excellent 2019-20 season.
The 2020 Toyota Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball National Championships were cancelled due to national safety priorities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This cancellation resulted in no national championship being awarded for the 2019-20 NWBA season.
The University of Texas at Arlington Movin' Mavericks of the Intercollegiate Men's Division completed the 2019-2020 regular season with an overall record of 22 wins and only one loss. The team was undefeated in Intercollegiate Division games with a record of 14 wins and no losses. This was the best among men’s teams in the Intercollegiate Division.