The team consists of 12 athletes that will compete in the 2018 IWBF World Championships in Hamburg, Germany, in August, and sees the return of two athletes from the 2016 Paralympic Games gold-medal team.
2016 Rio gold medalists Rose Hollermann of Elysian, Minnesota, and Abigail Dunkin of New Braunfels, Texas, return to lead the team at the 2018 IWBF World Championships. Although they are only 22-years-old, the two women will serve as the veterans on this team. This is one of the youngest women’s team rosters, with an average age of 18.5 years old.
USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Head Coach, Trooper Johnson, said “We have an incredibly young group with a lot of potential and energy. It’s great to see this group of young women start the process of pushing this sport forward so early and it will be exciting to see how they perform in the World Championships.”
Team USA will prepare for the IWBF World Championships with a variety of training camps and friendly competitions. The IWBF World Championships are set for Hamburg, Germany, August 16-26, at the Edel-Optics Arena.
The two returning U.S. Paralympians will be joined by their University of Texas at Arlington teammate, Morgan Wood of Gordonsville, Tennessee.
The other collegiate players who made the cut areJosie Aslakson of Jordan, Minnesota (NYU); Kaitlyn Eaton of Houston, Texas (Univ. of Illinois); Shelby Gruss of Ossian, Indiana (Purdue); Emily Oberst of Brookfield, Wisconsin (Univ. of Illinois); and Lindsey Zurbrugg of Portland, Oregon (Univ. Wisconsin-Whitewater).
The rest of the roster includes four athletes that are still in high school: Ixhelt Gonzalez of Chicago, Illinois; Ali Ibanez of Murray, Utah; Riley Ljungdahl of Longmont, Colorado; and Bailey Moody of Alpharetta, Georgia.
Ixhelt Gonzalez, who plays for the NWBA’s Chicago Skyhawks is the youngest player on the roster at 13-years-old.
The following four athletes will be reserves: Josie DeHart of Fruita, Colorado; Sarah Heinzl of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Jordan Kozloski of Warner Robin, Georgia; and Shantelle Winslow of Centerville, Utah.
The 2018 IWBF Women’s World Championships pools were established in late January. USA will square off with Algeria, Argentina, China, France, and Germany in Pool B. In Pool A, the following countries will play for advancement: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Spain, and The Netherlands.
USA has returned home with a medal from every World Championships, except for the 2014 World Championships, since its inception in 1990, accumulating two gold medals and four silver medals. USA has played for the gold medal in six of the seven IWBF World Championships.
2018 USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball National Team Roster