The 2020 Summer Paralympics have begun in Tokyo and a total of 163 nations and 4,537 athletes will participate in the quadrennial Games with Wheelchair Basketball as one the 22 sports. 14 countries will take part in the event and the US will defend it's crown.
The United States men's team is the reigning gold medalist while Spain (silver) and Great Britain (bronze) were the other two podium finishers. For women's basketball, United States won gold, while Germany won silver and the Netherlands won bronze.
The first group stage game begins on August 25th, 2021 for both men's and women's events. The final gold medal game is on September 5th, 2021 for men's and September 4th, 2021 for women's. It will take place at Musashino Forest Sports Plaza for the group stage rounds and Ariake Arena for the finals.
Who is the arguably the greatest of all time in Wheelchair basketball?
Patrick Anderson is often regarded as the best Wheelchair Basketball player of all time. At 42 years old, he is going to appear in his 5th Summer Paralympics attempting to get his 4th gold medal. He has participated and represented Canada in every Summer Paralympics since the 2000 Syndey Games except Rio 2016. He won gold in 2000 Sydney, 2004 Athens, and 2012 London and won silver in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics.
He enjoyed playing ice hockey as a kid but unfortunately, at the tender age of nine, Anderson was hit by a drunk driver and lost both his legs in the accident. He discovered Wheelchair Basketball shortly thereafter and took his talents to the court. He led the Canadian Junior Men’s National Team to back-to-back World Championships in 1997 and 2001 and was named the Most Valuable Player for both the tournaments.
Outside of his national career, he has played overseas in various leagues. In 2003, he was named the MVP of the Australian National Wheelchair Basketball League and has also won three consecutive European Champions Cups from 2004-2006 in in Germany with the club, RSV Lahn-Dill.
He has a total of 8 international medals in Wheelchair Basketball with four in Paralympics and four in World Championships. He famously averaged 25 points per game on 60% shooting in the 2012 London Paralympics.
The four-time Paralympian is back for his 5th Summer Paralympics and all eyes are going to be on him as he leads Team Canada in men's Wheelchair Basketball.