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Hamburg 2018: US men’s team named

Paralympic champions among favourites for August’s wheelchair basketball Worlds 29 May 2018
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male wheelchair basketball players hug eachother on the court

USA are one of the nations to watch at the 2018 Worlds after winning gold in both men's and women's competitions at Rio 2016

ⒸGetty Images
By NWBA

“The final group of athletes position us for success, and it is very promising to see how this team prepares in the next couple of months for Germany.”

Ten Rio 2016 Paralympic gold medallists head the US men’s team for August’s International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.

Rio 2016 co-captains Steve Serio and Mike Paye will again lead the squad. Serio, a three-time Paralympian (2008, 2012, 2016), has earned two consecutive Paralympic medals (2012 bronze, 2016 gold). Paye is also a three-time Paralympian (2004, 2008, 2016).

Matt Scott returns as he attempts to make a fifth consecutive US Paralympic team. Scott has been representing USA since Athens 2004, and has earned two Paralympic medals (2012 and 2016). Two-time Paralympic medallist Ian Lynch also returns to the squad. Both are versatile players in defense and offense.

Fellow double Paralympic medallists Nate Hinze and Trevon Jenifer are also back in the team after taking a year off following the Rio Games.

Four other members of the 2016 gold-medal team return, and all earned a silver medal at the 2014 World Championships. Leading the quartet is Brian Bell, followed by Jared Arambula, Aaron Gouge and Jake Williams.

Making their US World Championship team debut are John Boie and Jorge Sanchez. Sanchez was a member of the 2013 and 2017 Americas Qualifier teams. Boie fills out the roster and brings experience from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

“I am excited with the focus and intensity of the athletes over the last four days, and the final selections were not easy,” said US Men’s Head Coach Ron Lykins who picked the team following a four-day selection camp at the Olympic Training Centre (23-26 May). “The final group of athletes position us for success, and it is very promising to see how this team prepares in the next couple of months for Germany.”

Lykins has coached three US Paralympic gold-medal teams (2004 women; 2008 women; 2016 men). Joining him on the sidelines are assistant coaches Robb Taylor, John Sikora, Pennsylvania. Scott Meyer is the team leader, with Mary Vacala serving as the Athletic Trainer. The Team Physician is Dr. Gloria Biem.

Team USA qualified for the 2018 World Championships by winning the 2017 Americas Zonal Qualifier. The US men last lost in the 2014 World Championships, where they claimed a silver medal. At the 2015 ParaPan American Games, Team USA cruised to the gold medal.

Team USA has brought home a medal at all World Championships, including six golds, four silvers, and one bronze. Team USA has played for the gold medal in 10 of the 11 IWBF World Championships.

The IWBF World Championships will take place at Hamburg’s Edel-Optics Arena from 16-26 August and will feature 16 men’s and 12 women’s teams.