As this year’s USA Paralympic Women’s Basketball Team makes its final preparations for the 2021 Games in Tokyo, the team at SPIRE is set to cheer the team onto Gold. The team trained over the last several months at SPIRE, showcasing their talents for recruitment to the USA’s Paralympic team that will be heading to Tokyo next month. Selection Camp was also held at SPIRE.
The choices among basketball’s wheelchair elite were hard to make given such a qualified group of athletes, but the difficult decisions were made when SPIRE IA hosted the 2021 USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team Women’s Selection Camp. After much training and competition, the team came together.
In all, twelve players were selected to represent the USA in the 2020 Paralympic games, rescheduled to take place August 24 through September 5, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. SPIRE congratulates:
● Darlene Hunter
● Natalie Schneider
● Rose Hollermann
● Courtney Ryan
● Josie Aslakson
● Kaitlyn Eaton
● Bailey Moody
● Alejandra Ibanez
● Lindsey Zurbrugg
● Ixhelt Gonzalez
● Zoe Voris
● Abigail Bauleke
Head Coach Trooper Johnson will be leading the team, bringing his extensive coaching experience and knowledge to the competition. Johnson has been the Head Coach of the U.S. Women’s squad since 2017, coaching them to a silver medal at the 2017 America’s Cup and a silver medal at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru, among other notable accomplishments.
While the core of this team is relatively young, there is a strong presence of experienced athletes to mentor this young group. The roster includes three members of the U.S. gold medal-winning team from the 2016 Rio Paralympics and brings back nine athletes from the silver medal team competing in the 2019 Parapan American Games, a victory that earned Team USA’s qualifying spot to this year’s Tokyo games.
The team’s training and preparation at SPIRE has been rigorous, especially during COVID, as they prepared to defend their 2016 gold medal. They have been submitting home workouts, watching film, and will have had four training camps together before the Games. The training camps consisted of scrimmages against the NWBA Men’s Emerging Elite, three on-court sessions a day, as well as strength and conditioning programs.
Coach Johnson feels confident the team’s hard work will pay off in a big way in Tokyo later this summer.
“It has been a long process, and we are excited and happy with the new athletes. We have such a young team with incredible potential to develop. They have done an amazing job coming together in such a short time. We are ready to defend the gold medal from Rio,” said Johnson.
SPIRE IA’s entire team wishes the Toyota U.S. Women’s National Team the best of luck in Tokyo. SPIRE COO Jeff Orloff says, “Congratulations to the team. It has been an honor and pleasure to host you at SPIRE and watch as Team USA came together. We are excited for you and will all be tuning in, watching you and rooting for you!!”
Follow the Toyota U.S. Women’s National Team journey on their official social media channels.
Instagram and Twitter: @NWBA