Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-738-4854;
SRU TO HOST SECOND
CONSECUTIVE WOMEN’S WHEELCHAIR
STEEL CITY STARZ TO PLAY USA JUNIOR NATIONALS TO
ROCK, Pa. – For the second consecutive year, the best women
wheelchair basketball players in the United States come to Slippery
Rock University Feb. 24-26 for the 31ST National
Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, which for the first
time will feature the USA Junior National Team.
of high school wheelchair players from around the country, the
Junior National Team will play against tournament athletes. Also
new are health and wellness workshops, offered by SRU students, for
those with spinal cord injury.
tournament brings 125 adult players from around the country to
SRU’s Robert N. Aebersold Student Recreation Center for
competition. Games, free and open to the public, will be held from
9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Pittsburgh’s Steel City Starz includes SRU
student Diana Helt and players from Pittsburgh as well as Allegheny
and Butler counties.
The USA Junior National Team will
play at 11 a.m. Feb. 26.
Until a year ago, Pennsylvania had never hosted the
national tournament, said John Sikora, coach of the Steel City
Starz and director of Pittsburgh’s HOPE Network, which
provides sports and recreation opportunities to people with
petitioned the National Wheelchair Basketball Association to bring
the tournament to SRU because the university offers a number of
academic programs for people with disabilities, including adapted
physical activity and equine-facilitated therapy.
rare that the same host receives the bid award for two consecutive
years,” Sikora said. “We all did a great job last year,
and players said they liked Slippery Rock University’s
facilities and hospitality. That’s why we were asked to host
SRU and the
HOPE Network will sponsor the tournament.
note: Starz players include Norah Schneider
of Slippery Rock, Leah Gray of Mt. Pleaseant, Marcie Galore of
Allison Park, Mary Fletcher of Pittsburgh, Diana Helt of North
Hills (SRU student, Jennifer Mellin of Erie and Shannon Morrisey of
Fairhill, Ohio. Sikora, of Freeport, is head coach, assisted by Kim
Bender of Slippery Rock and Theresa Crytzer of Natrona
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