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University of Texas at Arlington to host top wheelchair basketball teams from around the world

Wednesday, February 13, 2019 • Media Contact: Herb Booth

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The eight-time Intercollegiate National Wheelchair Basketball Champion UTA Movin’ Mavs and the 17-time NWBA Division I Champion Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks have combined efforts to host the 2019 Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks Invitational Feb. 15-17.

Dallas Invitational Wheelchair tournament

“We are looking forward to some great competition from some of the top U.S. teams and athletes from around the world,” said Doug Garner, head coach of the Movin’ Mavs. “This will be a great test to see where we are” while UTA gets ready for the National Championships.

The tournament will feature top teams in the NWBA Division I, including the national team from Austria and the UTA Movin’ Mavs. They will play more than 30 games in a championship-style tournament at the UTA Maverick Activities Center and Physical Education Building.

The games will feature some of the top players in the world, including several Team USA members and paralympians, current and past, who will be battling it out in a preview for this year’s NWBA National Championships.

The returning NWBA champion New York Knicks will be led by paralympians Steve Serio (USA), David Eng (Canada) and Patrick Anderson (Canada). The team will look for a match against the Dallas Wheelchair Mavericks featuring Aaron Gouge, Jason Nelms, Jernell Pennie and Dan Fik, all from the United States. 

Joe Chambers (USA) will lead the No. 4 Sacramento Kings, while No. 3 NRH Punishers from Washington, D.C., will feature paralympian Travon Jennifer (USA) as they try to move up in the rankings.

Other teams participating will be the  UTA Movin’ Mavs, ranked No. 3 in the National Intercollegiate Ranking; Albuquerque;TIRR Houston; Kansas City; and Mary Free Bed Pacers.

The San Diego Wolfpack, a team of military veterans who have moved up the ranks of the NWBA to top 10 status, will feature USA national team member and USA Marine Jorge Salazar.

“This will be some exciting basketball with some top players in the U.S. and around the world,” Movin’ Mavs player Clarence McCarthy Grogan said. “To have so many great players coming or returning to campus shows how well-known that our program is around the world.”

Team Austria qualified this year as one of the 12 top European teams and will travel to UTA for a week of training with the Movin’ Mavs.

The defending national champion Lady Movin’ Mavs will host a women’s division as part of the tournament and will play the Denver Nuggets and the Dallas Lady Wheelchair Mavericks.

“It is always exciting to represent UTA on the courts, and we are excited to have another opportunity this weekend,” said Rose Hollerman from the Lady Movin’ Mavs. She is a two-time paralympian for Team USA, won a gold medal in 2016, and is currently a senior at UTA. “This will be the final home opportunity to compete in our gyms as a Lady Movin’ Mav for myself and four of my teammates, so we are looking for a great crowd to help us wrap up our senior season.”

Admission to the games is free. Games will run from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15, and from 8 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16.

The championship playoffs will begin at 8 a.m. Sunday. Feb. 16, and go until the tipoff of the championship game, which is scheduled to start at noon Sunday.

--  Written by Amanda Augustine