Colorado Springs, Colo. – The 2017 NWBA National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament presented by ABC Medical draws 95 teams from across the country, making it the largest ever. The National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament is the world’s largest single-sport event for athletes with disabilities, and makes its 10th stop in the Bluegrass state for the 69th annual edition in Louisville, Ky., March 30-April 2. The Junior Prep, Junior Varsity, and three Adult Division (D-I, D-II, D-III) teams will compete for a coveted National Title in the South Hall of the Kentucky Exposition Center, which also features the former home of the University of Louisville’s Freedom Hall that has hosted numerous NCAA Final Fours.
The Junior Tournament will feature 47 teams competing for National titles in Junior Varsity and Junior Prep classes. The Junior Varsity will also see 15 teams pushing for Junior National Invitational Tournament, that is for teams ranked 17-32. The Junior Prep age group is for athletes 13 years old and younger, while the Junior Varsity athletes are high school age children. The Junior NIT Championship is slated for Saturday, April 1 at 4 p.m., while the Junior Prep National title game opens Championship Sunday at 8 a.m. on April 2, with the Junior Varsity following at 10:30 a.m.
The Adult Divisions will see the return of three separate divisions (D-I, D-II, and D-III), for more competitive parody and three National Championships on the line for 48 teams, 16 per division. The three divisions will compete over four days with six teams advancing to Championship Sunday, with Division I tipping off at 1 p.m., and Division II and Division III immediately following each other.
The final rankings for the Junior and Adult Divisions has been decided, and the seeds and brackets are now available.
The Adult D-I tournament seeds needed the final weekend as the defending champion Dallas Wheelchair Mavs secured the No. 1 position, with the New York Rollin’ Knicks coming in at No. 2. The Rogue Valley Scorpions and the Sacramento Rollin’ Kings are the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, respectively.
The Nassau Kings earned the No. 1 seed for the 2017 NWBT, with the WASA Bucks from Wisconsin rolling into the No. 2 slot. The DFW Freewheelers solidified the No. 3 seed, with San Antonio ParaSport Spurs pushing up into the No. 4 seed overall.
The Division III tournament seeds are as follows: 1. LWSRA Hawks; 2. Columbus WC Basketball; 3. Las Vegas Yuccas; and 4. Rancho Renegades.
The Junior Varsity Division sees the Dallas Junior Mavericks-Blue team warrant the No. 1 seed, and the BlazeSports Junior Hawks in the No. 2 position. The Courage Kenny Junior Rolling Timberwolves and Mary Free Bed Junior Pacers are the No. 3 and No. 4 seeds, respectively.
The Fairfax Falcons will lead the Junior Prep Tournament as the No. 1 seed, with the Charlotte Junior Hornets-Purple squad securing the No. 2 spot. The BlazeSports Junior Hawks earned the No. 3 seed, with the RHI Junior Racers rounding out the top four.
The Junior NIT seeds are: 1. Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets; 2. Dallas Junior Mavericks-White; 3. Bennett Blazers; and 4. Michigan Rollin’ Pistons/Challengers.
The National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament will feature a total of 190 games on 12 courts, with a total of 70 games on Thursday, March 30, which start at 10 a.m. Eastern. The second day of games will commence at 8 a.m. at the Kentucky Exposition Center, where all divisions will play into placement games, and a variety of showcase events.
Saturday will start at 8 a.m., with teams playing for third to 16th place in all divisions, and the Junior NIT Championship closing the day at 4 p.m. Eastern. The semi-finals for the Junior Prep, Junior Varsity, and the three Adult Divisions will see the best-of-the-best tip for their chance at a National Title on Sunday.
Individual tickets are available for the 2017 NWBT presented by ABC Medical. Event tickets sold at the Kentucky Exposition Center will be: $32 for adults for all sessions or $19.00 per day. Children 11-18 will be $12 for all sessions and $10 per day. Children 10 and under are free.
On March 31-April 2, the NWBA’s Operation Rebound for Veterans will hold an introductory wheelchair basketball clinic at the Kentucky Exposition Center. This year’s program will attract at least 25 veterans from all military branches. The Operation Rebound event will conclude with the veterans playing in a round-robin tournament, alongside the NWBA’s best.
In addition to the NWBT, the NWBA Hall of Fame will hold its annual induction ceremony at the Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel on Saturday, April 1 at 6 p.m. Eastern. This year’s inductees are: Carson Barnes; Eddie Diggs; Dug Jones; Ron LaBar; and Elma Rodriguez.
The brackets for the 2017 NWBT can be found by clicking on the appropriate link below:
2017 Junior Prep Bracket
2017 Junior NIT Bracket
2017 Junior Varsity Bracket
2017 Adult Division I Bracket
2017 Adult Division II Bracket
2017 Adult Division III Bracket
Local sponsors of the event include Frazier Rehab Institute, KentuckyOne Health, Louisville Convention & Visitors Bureau, Louisville Sport Commission and Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation.