Toyota Supports Team USA Athletes in North Texas Wheelchair Basketball Games
In the first event of its kind to come to the area, 36 wheelchair basketball players from Japan, Spain, and the United States faced off at the 2019 Toyota USA Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Showdown from June 20-25. Fans had the chance to attend games at Prosper High School in Prosper, Texas, on Saturday, June 22. Toyota provided specially equipped vehicles for the event to assist the athletes with their transportation needs.
Toyota saw this event as an opportunity to bring people in the community together to rally behind these athletes as they prepared for one of the biggest stages in sports. Toyota’s partnership with the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) has reinforced that no matter your background, whether sitting or standing, when it comes to the game, everyone is equally dedicated and passionate about their sport.
Toyota has recently partnered with 16 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic National Governing Bodies (NGBs), including the NWBA. As an extension of these relationships, Toyota has signed on as the entitlement sponsor of transportation to several NGB events leading up to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo 2020, reiterating its belief that the spirit of the Games and their athletes should be celebrated 365 days a year.
The NWBA has stated repeatedly that Toyota has been “all-in” when it comes to supporting the organization and its athletes year-round. Moving this event to Texas with Toyota’s help, the NWBA was able to bring the sport and the athletes to a new audience and motivate more people to get out and realize their potential. These games are ultimately in preparation for the Paralympics in Tokyo 2020.
The lineup that Saturday featured a rematch to the gold medal game in the Paralympic Games of Rio 2016 when the USA beat Spain, 68-52. The game was preceded by USA vs. Japan with the USA holding a 9-0 record against Japan in International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and Paralympic competition.
Fans who attended the free event at Prosper High School had the opportunity to meet Team USA players in an autograph session following the final game. Toyota and the NWBA also held free giveaways for fans throughout the day, including halftime prizes, and games for people interested in testing their own wheelchair basketball skills. An interactive display was setup in a fanzone outside the gym. The Dallas Mavericks also provided entertainment, including the Mavs ManiAACs and the Mavericks Street Team, along with a prize package.
About the NWBA
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the National Wheelchair Basketball Association is a nonprofit organization and the national governing body for men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball in the United States. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) is comprised of over 200 wheelchair basketball teams across 22 conferences. The NWBA was founded in 1948, and today consists of eight divisions including: Division I, Division II, Division III, Women’s Division, Intercollegiate Men’s Division and Intercollegiate Women’s Division and Junior Division.
As the recognized governing body for basketball in the U.S. by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and the United States Olympic Committee (USOC), the NWBA is responsible for the selection, training and fielding of USA teams that compete in FIBA-sponsored international competitions, as well as for some national competitions, and for the development of youth basketball initiatives that address player development, coach education and safety.