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 SRU to Host National Women's Wheelchair Basketball Tournament: Paralympic Try Outs 

 

SPOTLIGHT

Feb. 19, 2004

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854; e-mail: gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu

For a complete game schedule: CLICK HERE

ATHENS ’04 PARALYMPIC TRIALS FOR WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL

TO BE HELD AT SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY MARCH 7

WOMEN PLAYERS FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY WILL ALSO COMPETE

IN NATIONAL BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT; PUBLIC INVITED

           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The best women wheelchair basketball players in the United States come to Slippery Rock University March 4-6 to compete in a national tournament and try out for the Athens 2004 Paralympics. Pittsburgh’s Steel City Starz will participate.

           The Olympic Games for those with disabilities is known as the Paralympics, held in the same host city (Athens) and using the same athletic venues as able-bodied Olympians.

           The USA National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team will be assembled from among the 125 athletes competing March 4-6 in the 30th National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at SRU’s Robert N. Aebersold Student Recreation Center. On March 7, players will try out for the Paralympics.

           All games and tryouts are free and open to the public. Games will be played 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. March 4-5, with the championship game at 1 p.m. March 6. Tryouts will be held 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 7.

           Two local players, Norah Schneider of Slippery Rock, and Leah Gray of Mt. Pleasant, will participate in the Paralympic tryouts. They play for the Steel City Starz, based in Pittsburgh.

           “The opportunity to host the USA Paralympic Team trials is quite an honor,” said John Sikora, coach of the Steel City Starz and director of Pittsburgh’s HOPE Network, which provides sports, fitness and recreation opportunities to people with disabilities.  “We get to see first hand the players who will have the honor to represent our country, carry our flag and colors into competition against the best in the world.”

           The Steel City Starz includes Theresa Crytzer of Natrona Heights, Tiffany Frey of Erie, Darcy McKiney of Meadville, Marci Galore of Allison Park, Diana Helt of North Hills, Kelly Timms of Pittsburgh, Norah Schneider of Slippery Rock, Mary Fletcher of Pittsburgh and Leah Gray of Mount Pleasant.

           Pennsylvania has never hosted the National Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Tournament before, Sikora said. Warm Springs, Ga., hosted last year’s tournament.

           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. The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation affirmed the university’s reputation for adapted programs by award grants to fund scholarships for students spinal cord injury.

            Editor’s note: Electronic headshots of each Steel City Starz player are available at University Public Relations. Call Gordon Ovenshine 724-738-4854, or e-mail gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu

 

 

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