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 SRU to Again Host Women's Wheelchair Basketball Tourney; Steel City Starz to Play 

 

SPOTLIGHT

Feb. 1, 2005

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine 724-738-4854; gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu

SRU TO HOST SECOND CONSECUTIVE WOMEN’S WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL

TOURNAMENT FEB 24-26;

PITTSBURGH’S STEEL CITY STARZ TO PLAY USA JUNIOR NATIONALS TO PARTICIPATE

FOR FIRST TIME

 

           SLIPPERY 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.

 

           Comprised 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.

 

    The 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 disabilities.

 

      Sikora 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.

 “It is 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 again.”

 SRU and the HOPE Network will sponsor the tournament.

 

Editor’s 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 Heights.

 

#PN, PR, PgN

 

 

 

 

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