National Wheelchair Basketball Association National Championships to Be One of Colorado's Largest Athletic Events in 2009

Feb. 06, 2009, 12:39 p.m. (ET)

DENVER, Colo. - For the first time in its history, the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) will host national championships for six different divisions all at one location inside the Gold Crown Field House in Colorado on March 18-22, creating one of the state's largest athletic events in 2009 as more than 1,000 male and female athletes with physical disabilities will travel to Colorado to compete.

Previously, the NWBA staged national championship tournaments for each division separately in different locations. This is the first time six divisions will be consolidated at one site for the championships and the more than 1,000 athletes with physical disabilities in the six divisions and their families will be traveling from all across the United States to Colorado for the tournament. Teams in all divisions will have qualified for the Nationals via NWBA-sanctioned regional tournaments - the teams playing in this event in Colorado will be the best of the best. The six divisions featuring elite adult players all the way down to the NWBA's youngest competitors who are ages 8-12 are: Championship, Division III, Women's, Varsity, Junior Varsity and Prep.

Former NBA great Bill Hanzlik, who spent 17 years playing and coaching in the NBA with Seattle, Denver, Charlotte and Atlanta, will serve as host and MC for the entire tournament at the Gold Crown Field House. Hanzlik is the full-time CEO of the Gold Crown Foundation and was critical in bringing this event to Colorado.

The Gold Crown Field House boasts Colorado's largest hardwood floor (more than 42,000 square feet) and can host six basketball games simultaneously under one roof. One of the six courts at the Gold Crown Field House will serve as a preparation and repair area for athletes. Damage sustained to the athletes' competition wheelchairs during games will be repaired immediately onsite by special mechanics and welders.