U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Committee and National Wheelchair Basketball Association announce rosters for inaugural Team USA vs. College All-Star Wheelchair Basketball Competition at Women’s Final Four
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee and National Wheelchair Basketball Association today announced the five and six-member team rosters for the inaugural Team USA vs. College All-Star competition, held April 1 during the NCAA Division II and III Women’s Final Four tournaments. The competition is an effort of the USOPC and NCAA Para-College Inclusion Project, which was established to grow awareness around adaptive sport programming at the collegiate level.
“We had tremendous leadership at the table as we partnered with the NCAA, schools, NGBs and athletes to launch the USOPC and NCAA Para-College Inclusion Project,” said Julie Dussliere, USOPC chief of Paralympics and internally managed sports. “To see this all-star game come to fruition at March Madness is incredibly exciting and will certainly shine a spotlight on our country’s best collegiate wheelchair basketball players.”
The college all-star roster is comprised of one athlete from each of the six women’s wheelchair basketball teams across our country. The College All-Stars are comprised of:
· Abby Bauleke (University of Alabama), one-time Paralympian and Paralympic bronze medalist
· Crystal Jones (City University of New York)
· Grace Wembolua (University of Texas at Arlington), one-time Paralympian
· Emilee Gustafson (University of Arizona)
· Mada McCabe (University of Wisconsin-Whitewater)
· Morgan McCammon (University of Illinois)
Team USA’s roster is comprised of athletes who represented the United States at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. The U.S. roster is comprised of:
· Darlene Hunter (Commerce, Mich.), three-time Paralympian and two-time Paralympic medalist
· Zoe Voris (Chicago, Ill.), one-time Paralympian and Paralympic bronze medalist
· Courtney Ryan (San Diego, Calif.), one-time Paralympian and Paralympic bronze medalist
· Natalie Schneider (Ord, Neb.), four-time Paralympian and three-time Paralympic medalist
· Lindsey Zurbrugg (Portland, Ore.), one-time Paralympian and Paralympic bronze medalist
Before the Team USA vs. College All-Star competition kicks off, athletes from both teams will volunteer their time to host a wheelchair basketball skills clinic for local athletes with disabilities. The clinic – hosted by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association – is expected to draw dozens of youth from the Dallas metropolitan area.
“It’s an honor to get to represent the University of Alabama and all of the collegiate wheelchair basketball programs across our country in this upcoming matchup against Team USA,” said Abby Bauleke, a current Crimson Tide student-athlete who also competed for Team USA at the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. “We can’t wait to bring our sport to the Women’s Final Four, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to compete at the tournament.”
"We are excited about a bright future with the NCAA where the top wheelchair basketball players compete in front of the same audiences as their able-bodied peers,” said Ryan Martin, NWBA president. “We want to thank the USOPC and NCAA in partnering with the NWBA to provide this opportunity to bring awareness to wheelchair basketball."
Team USA and the College All-Stars will take the court during halftimes of the NCAA Divisions II and III Women’s Final Four, located at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center in Dallas, Texas, on April 1. Media interested in receiving more information should reach out to Annemarie.Blanco@usopc.org.
For more information about the sport of wheelchair basketball, please visit nwba.org.