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No. 1 seeded UT Arlington hosts 2014 national wheelchair basketball championship March 6

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

News Topics: awards, College Park Center, recreation, sports, student life

For the first time in three years, The University of Texas at Arlington men’s wheelchair basketball team will host the sport’s pinnacle event, the 2014 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Championship.

Movin' Mavs players Richardo Lucien, left, and Ruben Mauricio, right, hope to capture the team's 8th national championship title.

UT Arlington is the No. 1 seed in the eight-team tournament, which opens Thursday, March 6. The third place and championship games will be played at College Park Center, 601 Spaniolo Drive. All other matches will be played at the Maverick Activities Center, 500 W. Nedderman Drive.

Also new this year, a UT Arlington women’s team will play in the tournament. The team consists of five current students and recruits who have committed to attend the University.

Admission to National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Championship games is free and open to the public.

The UT Arlington men’s wheelchair basketball team has won seven national championships, but this will mark the first time that the Movin’ Mavs have hosted the event at College Park Center. The team hosted the 2011 championship game at Texas Hall.

If UT Arlington wins, it will be the team’s first national championship title in seven years.

“We are thrilled to be able to play this type of physical game in front of a home crowd at College Park Center. It’s going to be very exciting,” said Doug Garner, Movin’ Mavs head coach. “We have trained hard this season and overcome many obstacles. The key now is to maintain complete mental focus.”

The 2014 Movin’ Mavs men’s and women’s teams includes 19 student athletes, among them:

  • John McPhail, a junior social work major who was injured as an infant when a drunken driver struck the vehicle he was riding in, leaving him a paraplegic. The Sydney, Australia native eventually found basketball and earned a spot on the Australia men’s national wheelchair basketball team that competed at the 2010 Wheelchair Basketball World Championship that won a gold medal.
  • Andreas Kraft, a junior who is studying international finance. Kraft was born with a rare congenital birth defect affecting the development of his hip and femur. Kraft succeeded in adaptive sports in his native Vienna, Austria. He also is a member of UT Arlington’s wheelchair tennis team and an internationally ranked swimmer who will represent UT Arlington in several tennis and swimming events this spring.
  • Morgan Wood, a sophomore who transferred from the University of Memphis last fall and is pursuing pre-nursing studies. A birth defect left Wood partially paralyzed. She began her basketball career while in high school and committed to UT Arlington after a summer wheelchair basketball camp.

John McPhail, member of the Movin' Mavs and junior social work major from Sydney, Australia.

McPhail said: “We know what we can do when we play to our strengths and play the right game. The main goal now is an eighth national championship – to put a ring on that finger.”

The Movin’ Mavs are sponsored by the UT Arlington Division of Student Affairs.

Since joining the Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Division in 1989, 34 UTA Movin’ Mavs have earned First Team All-American recognition, 28 earned Second Team All-American honors, and nine Movin’ Mavs have been named MVP.  The team’s other recent honors include U.S. Paralympic Grant, Neilson Foundation Grant, United States Tennis Association Grant(s), two-time NASPA Excellence Award Gold Honoree, and NASPA Excellence Award Silver Honoree.

Game Times

  • 9 a.m. Thursday, March 6 – Women’s #4 vs. #5 game, Maverick Activities Center  
  • 3 p.m. Friday, March 7 – Men’s Semi-Final Game, Maverick Activities Center
  • 9 a.m. Saturday, March 8 – Women’s Third Place Game, College Park Center
  • 1 p.m. Saturday, March 8 – Women’s National Championship Game, College Park Center
  • 3:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8 – Men’s National Championship Game, College Park Center

About the Movin’ Mavs

The UTA Movin’ Mavs began intercollegiate play during the 1989-90 academic year with six players. After qualifying for the National Intercollegiate Tournament, the Movin’ Mavs surprised their competition by making it to the Final Four in its first year. The team finished fourth and gained the confidence and experience necessary to take the program to a higher level.  The following March, in their second year of participation, the UTA Movin’ Mavs won the National Intercollegiate Championship.  

Visit www.uta.edu/movinmavs/ to learn more about the Movin’ Mavs. 

About UT Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution and the second largest institution in The University of Texas System. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked UT Arlington as the seventh fastest-growing public research university in 2013. U.S. News & World Report ranks UT Arlington fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more. Follow #UTAdna on Twitter.

 

 

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.