FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Date: March 26, 2003

            Contact: Karla Carwile, 206-6666


UIS to host 6th Annual Wheelchair Basketball Game


SPRINGFIELD – The Sixth Annual Wheel Chair Basketball Game at the University of Illinois at Springfield, pitting the UIUC Whizz Kids against the UIS Wheelies, will tip off at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, in the gym, located in the Student Life Building on the UIS campus. The game is free and open to the public and is presented as part of Disabilities Awareness Week activities at UIS. The UIS pep band and cheerleaders will perform.

The UIS team will be comprised of faculty, staff, and students. Players on the co-ed team from Urbana-Champaign include freshman Sarah Castle, also a Paralympic swimmer; graduate student Ron Crawford, member of the Canadian national program; freshman Josh George, a second team all-American at the college nationals; graduate student Jennifer Warkins, member of the U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team and second All-Tournament team at the women’s nationals; and junior Stephanie Wheeler, named MVP at the women’s nationals.

For over 50 years, the University of Illinois wheelchair athletics program has sent athletes and coaches into competition at world championships and the Paralympics. The mens team holds 10 national intercollegiate championships, more than any other college team in the nation, and recently finished third at the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in Whitewater, Wisconsin. They also competed in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Division I Regional Tournament in Phoenix, Arizona, at the end of March. The women’s team won their 10th national tournament this season, giving them back-to-back championship titles


and more national championships than any other women’s team.

 .          The U of I is a founding member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association, the Central Intercollegiate Conference, and the Women’s Division of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. Student-athletes from the program are also routinely recognized for their academic pursuits as well as community outreach, serving as volunteer coaches at the university’s junior wheelchair basketball and track camps and as invited instructors at other camps around the world.

[K1] Disability Awareness Week at UIS is March 31 through April 4. Each day will focus on a different topic and will feature informational displays, technology demonstrations, and presentations on various subjects. All events will be held on the UIS campus and are free and open to the public.

UIS campus facilities are fully accessible to the mobility-impaired. For more information about any of these events, contact the UIS Office of Disability Services at 206-6666 (TTY 206-6668).


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