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Meet The 12 Athletes Selected To The 2020 U.S. Paralympic Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team

By Kara Tanner | Feb. 08, 2020, 9:50 p.m. (ET)

With less than 200 days until the start of the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the National Wheelchair Basketball Association announced Saturday night the 12 women named to the 2020 U.S. Paralympic Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team. 

The team was selected after a three-day camp at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The team ranges in age from 18 to 37 and includes Paralympic medalists Megan Blunk, Abigail Dunkin, Rose Hollermann, Darlene Hunter, Becca Murray and Natalie Schneider. Joining them are rookies Josie Aslakson, Kaitlyn Eaton, Ali Ibanez, Bailey Moody, Courtney Ryan and Lindsey Zurbrugg. All 12 were on the team that won the silver medal at the Parapan American Games Lima 2019.  

Team USA has earned gold at three of the last four Paralympic Games, and will head to Tokyo this summer eager to defend its title from the Rio 2016 Games.

Learn more about the athletes below.


Josie Aslakson

Age: 24

Hometown: Jordan, Minn.

College: The University of Texas at Arlington

What It Would Mean To Represent Team USA At The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: "It’s more than surreal. The Paralympics are something that you only dream about and it’s happening, which is nuts."

What Aslakson Wishes People Knew About Wheelchair Basketball: "I wish people understood the classification system better because I think it would allow them to get a better grasp on how it actually works."


Megan Blunk

Age: 30

Hometown: Gig Harbor, Wash.

College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The One Word Blunk Uses To Describe The Team: "Supportive. Every girl on this team brings something different, and we use all of it to be our best."

What Blunk Wishes People Knew About Wheelchair Basketball: "I wish they knew more about the classification system. I’m really passionate about educating people about that because understanding the different disabilities so that people can appreciate the sport for what it really is."


Abigail Dunkin

Age: 24

Hometown: New Braunfels, Texas

College: The University of Texas at Arlington

What It Would Mean To Represent Team USA At The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: "It would be another dream come true. To represent in Rio was really awesome, and to go ahead and represent in Tokyo with this team, coaches, and athletes would mean the world and I really hope I get the chance to do that."

The One Word Dunkin Uses To Describe The Team: "Family. There’s no bad blood, there’s no cliques, everybody's just one unit, and that’s really special to be a part of."


Kaitlyn Eaton

Age: 25

Hometown: Houston, Texas

College: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

What It Would Mean To Represent Team USA At The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: "It would be an honor. This is something I’ve dreamed of doing since I started playing basketball in 2010. It’s a dream I’ve had a for a long team, and to wear those three letters across my chest means everything and to play with these girls it’s one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. It’s something I would never trade for the world."

The One Word Eaton Uses To Describe The Team: "I think the word that describes this team is family. We are all super close and connected. We are just one big happy family."


Rose Hollermann

Age: 24

Hometown: Elysian, Minn.

College: The University of Texas at Arlington

What It Would Mean To Represent Team USA At The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: “It’s always awesome to be able to represent your country, but it’s more about the people you are there because of like my parents, my family, my coaches, my community who have helped me get to where I am today. Being able to represent all those people and just the love of the sport of basketball is always an amazing opportunity."  

The One Word Hollermann Uses To Describe The Team: "Family. I think it’s a lot different than just being teammates or friends. We go through a lot of struggles together, but we always have each other’s back and we really sincerely love each other. It’s always really special and unique as a basketball team."


Darlene Hunter

Age: 37

Hometown: Walled Lake, Mich.

College: The University of Texas at Arlington

The One Word Hunter Uses To Describe The Team: "Dynamic. There are so many weapons on this team that we can use. It’s going to be really fun to watch in Tokyo."

Hunter's Advice To Rookies: "Enjoy your moment because it goes by way too fast."


Ali Ibanez

Age: 20

Hometown: Murray, Utah

College: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

The One Word Ibanez Uses To Describe The Team: "Diverse. There are a lot of different kinds of athletes that bring certain aspects to the team."

What Ibanez Wishes People Knew About Wheelchair Basketball: "The competitiveness of the sport is equal to or greater than that of our able-bodied counterparts."


Bailey Moody

Age: 18

Hometown: Alpharetta, Ga.

High School: Providence Christian Academy

What It Would Mean To Represent Team USA At The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: "I’ve been playing for Team USA for three years. There is just something different about putting on the jersey that says USA and being able to represent your country. It would mean an incredible amount to actually go to a Paralympics and put on a USA jersey." 

The One Word Moody Uses To Describe The Team: "Family. It’s part of our motto for the year and I think that really does describe us super well. We come together, we fight for each other and we stick up for each other. I just feel like these girls would fight behind me for anything."


Becca Murray

Age: 29

Hometown: Germantown, Wis.

College: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

What It Would Mean To Represent Team USA At The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: “It’s just an unbelievable experience and each country does it differently. It’s something new every time and it’s just a great feeling that you can’t put into words.” 

Murray's Advice To Rookies:
“Enjoy the moment. It’s an incredible opportunity and experience so just enjoy all of it.” 


Courtney Ryan

Age: 29

Hometown: San Diego, Calif.

College: University of Arizona

What It Would Mean To Represent Team USA At The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: "This means everything to me. I think for any elite athlete this is the top of the totem pole to get to any Olympic or Paralympic Games. The fact I’m here and one step closer is very encouraging."

The One Word Ryan Uses To Describe The Team: "Family. We are a very close knit and compassionate group. We are a very supportive of one another."


Natalie Schneider

Age: 36

Hometown: Crete, Neb.

College: Doane College

What It Would Mean To Represent Team USA At The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: "It would mean a lot to me to represent Team USA in Tokyo. I’ve been a Paralympian before and it just never gets old. It’s always a big honor to represent Team USA. I think every Paralympics I’ve been in the competition has gotten stronger and stronger to where it’s really anybody’s game. Whoever is the most prepared is going to take it. The competition across the board is really good. The best I’ve ever seen it."

Schneider's Advice To Rookies: "Train now, so when you get to Tokyo you know that you are ready and that you’ve done everything you can. Expect the unexpected."


Lindsey Zurbrugg

Age: 21

Hometown: Portland, Ore.

College: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater

What It Would Mean To Represent Team USA At The Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020: "I think it’s an incredible honor to just wear USA across my chest, and know that I’m one of the top 12 athletes representing my country."

What Zurbrugg Wishes People Knew About Wheelchair Basketball: "I used to play able-bodied basketball for six years. People think wheelchair basketball would be easier, but no, it’s harder. The biggest learning curve for me personally was learning how my body worked because after losing a bunch of function and not being able to use my legs I had to re-learn how to dribble and move." 

 
Meet The 2020 U.S. Paralympic Women's Wheelchair Basketball Team
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02/20/2020

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