Men's Sitting Team for Parapan Ams is Announced

April 19, 2007, 12 a.m. (ET)
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 19, 2007) - USA Volleyball and U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee, announced today the nominees for the men's sitting volleyball team that will represent the U.S. at the 2007 Parapan American Games, Aug. 12-19 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The roster features nine players from the 2006 World Championships Team that finished ninth in Roermond, The Netherlands, the best final standing the U.S. men's team has ever registered at the event.

One of the three newcomers to the squad is James Stuck (New Kensington, Pa.), who was introduced to Paralympic sport through the USOC Paralympic Military Program in 2006. Stuck, who lost his right leg below the knee during a tour of duty in Iraq, recently moved to Edmond, Okla., to train at the University of Central Oklahoma, an official Paralympic Training Site.

The Parapan American Games will represent the final opportunity for the U.S. to qualify for the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. Before that, the team will compete at the Sarajevo Open, May 25-27 in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

At the 2003 Para Pan American Games, the U.S. won the gold medal over Brazil to qualify for the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens. Five athletes on the 2007 roster were part of that gold-medal squad: Rene Aquino (Chicago, Ill.), Brad Johnson (Pompano Beach, Fla.), Curtis Lease (Naperville, Ill.), Brent Rasmussen (Omaha, Neb.) and Chris Seilkop (DeLand, Fla.).

2007 U.S. Men's Parapan American Sitting Volleyball Team Roster

Name (Position, Hometown)

Rene Aquino (Outside Hitter/Middle Hitter, Chicago, Ill.)
Eric Duda (Outside Hitter/Middle Hitter, Gainesville, Fla.)
Josh Franklin (Outside Hitter, Houston, Texas)
Brad Johnson (Middle Hitter, Pompano Beach, Fla.)
Matt Johnson (Libro, Omaha, Neb.)
Edgar Laforest (Setter/Hitter, Puerto Rico)
Curtis Lease (Middle Hitter, Naperville, Ill.)
Brent Rasmussen (Outside Hitter, Omaha, Neb.)
Chris Seilkop (Outside Hitter, DeLand, Fla.)
Hugo Storer (Outside Hitter, Houston, Texas)
James Stuck (Middle Hitter, New Kensington, Pa.)
Jose Zabala (Setter/Hitter, Puerto Rico)

Bill Hamiter - Head Coach
Dixie Collins - Assistant Coach/Team Leader
Edgar Miraku - Assistant Coach