Challenged Athletes Foundation and National Wheelchair Basketball Association Launch Wheelchair Basketball Content Series Featuring Team USA Paralympians

Individuals with Physical Challenges of All Ages and Abilities Can Find Their Start or Push their Game to the Next Level with The Wheelchair Basketball Training Zone

San Diego, California, UNITED STATES


San Diego, CA, July 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) have joined forces to launch a comprehensive content series to help athletes learn, train and play wheelchair basketball anytime, anywhere. The Wheelchair Basketball Training Zone includes a comprehensive library of instructional videos and resources featuring Team USA Paralympians and NWBA players. It also provides resources and access to equipment, teams, tournaments in an effort to grow the sport and further develop athletes already in the game. The Wheelchair Basketball Training Zone is designed to make the sport accessible to more athletes with physical disabilities with a sharp focus on increasing diversity, youth and female participation.

“We are proud to partner with the NWBA to bring together the best players, techniques, skills, resources and distribution platforms to make the sport more accessible,” said Virginia Tinley, CAF Chief Executive Director. “Our shared goal is to introduce new people to the sport and further develop the global Wheelchair Basketball community with new training content that will educate, inspire and push personal performance.”

The extensive Wheelchair Basketball Training Zone is presented in partnership with Nike, a long-time partner of both CAF and the NWBA and supported by CAF partner Toyota, Paralympians, select NBA and WNBA teams, US Paralympics and Team USA.  

“The collaboration will not only showcase how our elite Paralympic athletes train to compete at the highest levels of the sport, but also raise awareness for those who are new to the game,” said Will Waller, CEO of NWBA. “We’ve partnered with Paralympic, professional and junior athletes from all over the world to bring the growing sport of basketball to everyone.”

The Wheelchair Basketball Training Zone will initially launch with 16 easy-to-follow instructional videos of skills and drills ranging from beginner to advanced level workouts. All training videos provide modifications specific to various function of abilities for different levels of play to build strength and mobility specific to the game. Workouts include fundamentals, ball handling, shooting and chair agility with a sharp focus on strength and conditioning for adaptive athletes. As gyms re-open and athletes can train together, “On Court” video workouts will be available for team training.

The collection of videos will launch simultaneously on both the CAF website and Team USA’s Mobile Coach, a free web-based application that gives coaches and players access to resources from the US Olympic Committee. The Mobile Coach App can be downloaded at no charge on a desktop computer, Apple or Android device.

Wheelchair Basketball Training Zone Elite Coaches:

Steve Serio (New York, NY) - Steve is the co-captain of the USA Men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Team. When he was 11 months old, he had surgery to remove a spinal tumor which resulted in paraplegia from the compression of his spinal cord. Steve was introduced to wheelchair basketball at 15 years old, giving him the power to embrace the things that made him different. He continued playing the game through college at the University of Illinois and made his Paralympic debut with the USA National Team in 2008 in Beijing. Steve brought home the gold medal from the Rio 2016 Games and looks forward to competing in the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Megan Blunk (San Diego, CA) - Megan is a wheelchair basketball athlete and discovered adaptive sports a year after the motorcycle accident that paralyzed her and also revived her former inner athlete.  CAF gave Megan a grant for her first basketball chair, resulting in a full-ride scholarship to the University of Illinois, an invite to try out for Team USA, and ultimately the top of the podium in the 2016 Games in Rio. She is a four-time USA National Wheelchair Team member, Gold Medalist from the 2016 Paralympics in Rio, and Gold Medalist from the 2015 Toronto Parapan American Games. She currently plays for the Wolf Packs, a military-based team in San Diego, California and is pioneering a new path for other athletes with physical challenges while preparing for the 2021 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Trevon Jenifer (Edinboro, PA) - Trevon Jenifer is a two-time Paralympic medalist where he won bronze from the 2012 London Paralympics and gold in Rio 2016.  Jenifer was born without legs, a condition called congenital amputation. Despite growing up in a poor, crime-infested neighborhood just outside Washington, D.C., Jenifer let neither his body, his environment, nor his family's financial hardship deter him from pursuing dreams any two-legged person would have. Before focusing on wheelchair basketball in college, he was a successful track athlete in his early years and a top wrestler in high school.  He is a fierce competitor and a major contributor to the U.S. Men’s Wheelchair basketball team having first joined the team in 2009.  He has helped bring home the gold medal at the Parapan Am Games in 2015 and 2011 and the silver at the 2014 IWBF World Championships.  

Courtney Ryan (Chula Vista, CA) - Ryan was an All-American defender on the Metropolitan State University of Denver Women’s Soccer Team where she incurred an injury her junior year that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She immediately began rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver before moving home to her native San Diego to work with the Challenged Athletes Foundation. There, her mentor, Erika Davis, introduced Ryan to wheelchair basketball. She was recruited by the University of Arizona where she transferred, playing basketball and studying special education with an emphasis on disability studies. Next Summer, she will represent Team USA at the 2021 Paralympic Games.

Nate Hinze (Cedar Grove, WI) - Two-time Paralympian Hinze was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in his junior year of high school when he was 16 years old. He went through nine months of chemotherapy and a 14-hour surgery to remove a tumor from his leg. In that surgery, they replaced his knee and part of his tibia with titanium. In 2015, he celebrated his 10th year of being cancer-free. Hinze began playing wheelchair basketball in 2006 at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He currently plays in the NWBA for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Abby Dunkin (New Braunfels, Texas) - Abby is a former US Paralympian in wheelchair basketball and is a 2016 Rio Paralympic Gold Medalist. She competed on Team USA for 5 years and competed at the University of Texas at Arlington for 5 years with two national championships. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology and is now a Certified Personal Trainer.

 

Originally developed as a rehabilitation activity for injured war veterans, wheelchair basketball is now one of the most popular Paralympic sports. With the launch of the Wheelchair Basketball Training Zone, CAF continues to fulfill its mission of helping athletes get back into the game of life through sport. Basketball is third most popular sport in the world and wheelchair basketball equipment is the number one requested CAF grant every year. With the help of donors, sponsors and fundraising, CAF has funded over $1 million in chairs, coaching, training and competition travel in 2020 alone.

For 27 years, CAF has provided grants for adaptive sports equipment, training, and competition expenses needed to participate and compete, and CAF camps and clinics provide critical instruction and community needed to thrive.  For more information on the Wheelchair Basketball Training Zone, visit the webpage: https://www.challengedathletes.org/training-zone/

 

Media Kit Assets & Video:

Wheelchair Basketball Video Footage

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/oqh9rjz473risjb/AACcZLYHBK0EIw0p3_VgF1Fha?dl=0

About the Challenged Athletes Foundation

The Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) is a world leader in helping people with physical challenges lead active, healthy lifestyles. CAF believes that participation in physical activity at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.  Since 1994, more than $123 million has been raised and over 30,000 funding requests from people with physical challenges in all 50 states and dozens of countries have been satisfied. Additionally, CAF’s outreach efforts impact another 60,000 individuals each year. Whether it’s a $2,500 grant for a handcycle, helping underwrite a carbon fiber running foot not covered by insurance, or arranging enthusiastic encouragement from a mentor who has triumphed over a similar challenge, CAF’s mission is clear: give opportunities and support to those with the desire to live active, athletic lifestyles. Visit challengedathletes.org or call 858-866-0959.

About NWBA

The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is the recognized National Organization for Wheelchair Basketball by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation and the High- Performance Management Organization by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. The NWBA trains and selects teams for participation in the Paralympic Games, World Championships, and other international competitions. The NWBA was founded in 1949, and today consists of 225 teams across seven divisions: Adult Division (I, II and III), Women's Division, Intercollegiate Men's Division, Intercollegiate Women's Division and Junior Division. For more information, visit: www.nwba.org.

 

 

# # # #

Attachment

 
Steve Serio, Team USA Men's Wheelchair Basketball Co-Captain and 2-time Paralympic medalist, is one of the elite coaches helping to grow the sport with the Wheelchair Basketball Training Zone.

Coordonnées