“The group we selected best fits the style of play that the coaches want to play – good speed, great shooters, excellent defensive skill in half and full court situations."
The US National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) have announced their 2016 US Paralympic men’s wheelchair basketball team for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The roster is highlighted by six returning athletes from the London 2012 Paralympic Games bronze medal team. Eight athletes also come from the silver-medal 2014 World Championships team. The team was selected by the NWBA Men’s Player Selection Committee and is pending final approval by the US Olympic Committee and US Paralympics.
Mike Paye and Steve Serio are the two captains of the gold medal team from the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games. They lead the roster of 12 athletes and will be playing in their third Paralympics. They played together on three consecutive World Championship teams (2006, 2010, 2014), and were together again at Beijing 2008 where the USA finished fourth. Paye was a member of the Athens 2004 Paralympic team, and Serio helped lead the USA’s bronze-medal performance at the London 2012 Paralympics.
Also making a fourth consecutive Paralympic Games appearance will be Matt Scott, who also was a member of the 2006, 2010 and 2014 US World Championship teams.
“The selection of the US men’s team was a challenging decision for head coach Ron Lykins and the selection committee, as all of the athletes are extremely talented and deserving of selection,” said Jim Scherr, NWBA Executive Director. “The mixture of veteran talent from prior Paralympics and World Championships, and an emerging group of youth players provided us a deep pool of elite athletes to draw from that will provide our best opportunity for success in Rio. This team is built on depth, and provides our coaching staff an ability to establish numerous line-ups as we enter the final preparations into Rio in September.”
Added Lykins: “This was an extremely difficult process to select 12 athletes from a group of incredibly talented elite athletes.
“The group we selected best fits the style of play that the coaches want to play – good speed, great shooters, excellent defensive skill in half and full court situations. There is a good mix of veterans and younger players who have been with us since we started this journey in 2013. We are excited to be back together and preparing for the Rio Paralympics.”
US men’s wheelchair basketball roster
Head Coach Ron Lykins
Assistant Coaches Robb Taylor and John Sikora
Team Leader Scott Meyer
Athletic Trainer Mary Vacala
Strength Coach Michael Cohen
Team Psychologist Dr. Roberta Kraus
Complete bios on each of the 12 players can be found on the NWBA’s website