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Team USA Paralympics Basketball: A closer look at the team and its key players

USA vs Great Britain in 2016 Rio Paralympics [Source: paralympic.org] Enter caption
USA vs Great Britain in 2016 Rio Paralympics [Source: paralympic.org] Enter caption
Kunal Sethi
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Reigning gold medalists, USA men's wheelchair basketball team is participating in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. They qualified for the Summer Games at the 2019 Parapan American Games which took place in Lima, Peru and the top 3 podium finishers qualified for the ongoing Summer Paralympics in Tokyo. Team USA won gold over Canada and Colombia came third.

Along with these three countries, nine more are going to participate in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics in men's Wheelchair basketball. Just like the 2019 Parapan American games, these countries qualified through their regional events. They are Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Turkey, Australia, Iran, South Korea, and Algeria along with the host country, Japan.

The first group stage game begins on August 25th, 2021 and the gold medal game is on September 5th, 2021. It will take place at Musashino Forest Sports Plaza for the group stage rounds and Ariake Arena for the finals.

Check Out the Tokyo Paralympics Medal Table

United States men's Wheelchair Basketball team

USA men's wheelchair basketball team celebrate their gold medal victory at the 2016 Rio Paralympics
USA men's wheelchair basketball team celebrate their gold medal victory at the 2016 Rio Paralympics

The team's roster consists of Jorge Sanchez, Jacob Williams, Joshua Turek, Michael Paye, Ryan Neiswender, Brian Bell, Matthew Scott, Steven Serio, Matthew Lesperance, Trevon Jenifer, and John Boie. Trevon Jenifer is a three-time Paralympian and a seven-time medalist for USA and he will be one of the key players for this team, coached by Ron Lykins, in the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Some of the notable names are Josh Turek, Michael Paye, Matt Scott, and Steve Serio. Paye and Scott are five-time Paralympians, while Turek and Serio are four-time Paralympians.

The rest of the roster has been to the quadrennial Paralympics either once or twice and most of the players have earned a medal for their country.

Michael Paye and Matthew Scott have been to every Paralympics since 2004 and won two medals for USA, one gold (Rio, 2016) and one bronze (London, 2012). Joshua Turek and Steven Serio have been to four Paralympics each with Turek absent for the 2008 Beijing Games and Serio missing out on the 2004 Athens Paralympics.

Paye and Serio are co-captains of the men's wheelchair basketball team for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Since the Summer Paralympic Games were inaugurated in 1960, USA men's wheelchair basketball team has won six gold, one silver and four bronze medals. They also had to forfeit the gold medal from the 1992 Barcelona Paralympics due to doping.

Team USA hopes to capture it's seventh gold this year at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Also Read: What are the key differences between rules in Olympic Basketball and the NBA?


Edited by Arnav Kholkar
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