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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Local Paralympians prepare for their turn in Beijing

UW-Whitewater wheelchair basketball coach Jeremy Lade, a member of the U.S. men's Paralympic wheelchair basketball team, works on his game. File photo by Dan Plutchak.

The U.S. men's Olympic wheelchair basketball team will be well represented by athletes from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Jeff Glasbrenner, Matt Scott, Joe Chambers, Jacob Counts, Jeremy Lade, Jaimie Mazzi, Eric Barber and Matt Lesperance all play at UW-Whitewater. The team also includes coaches Steve Wilson, Tracy Chynoweth and Mike Bauler with UW-W connections.

"We're excited with the opportunity to represent our university and our country," national team player and current UW-W head coach Jeremy Lade said. "Watching the Olympics has only heightened our excitement about going to Beijing."

The Paralympic Games begin Sept. 6, two weeks after the Olympic Games end, and continue through Sept. 17.

Here's more from UW-Whitewater:

Wheelchair basketball team prepares for Beijing Paralympics

WHITEWATER - Not all athletes competing for gold are in Beijing just yet. That's because next month the city, which is now playing host to the Olympics, will host the 2008 Paralympic Games. The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater will have a significant presence at the games with 11 current and former Warhawk wheelchair basketball players and coaches on the U.S. National Wheelchair Basketball Team.

The team, which is training in Whitewater, will leave campus on Aug. 30 and depart for China from San Francisco on Sept. 3. The team knows that training is an integral part of their quest for gold. "We are trying to win gold before we even get to China," player Jaimie Mazzi said. "We've worked really hard to improve as a team and as individuals."

For the members on the team, nothing comes close to representing their country on the international stage, but the fact that they get to represent the university they attend is a bonus. "Nothing matches the honor of putting on a USA uniform and I really look forward to taking it all in," player Joe Chambers said. "Not only am I happy that I am representing our country, but that I will represent a part of UW-Whitewater on an international stage."

"We are excited with the opportunity to represent our university and our country," national team player and current head coach for UW-Whitewater Jeremy Lade said. "Watching the Olympics has only heightened our excitement about going to Beijing."

Lade isn't the only one getting excited for the trip by watching the Olympics. "We selected this team in April and the excitement has been building ever since. This is a great group of players who have worked extremely hard to give us a shot at gold. Now we're anxious to try and make all of the hard work pay off," assistant coach for the national team and former head coach for UW-Whitewater Tracy Chynoweth said.

As the games grow closer, the goal is singular for the squad. "If you do the work you get the reward," team member Jeff Glasbrenner said. "We've done the work and simply put, now I want gold."





Players from UW-Whitewater:

Jeff Glasbrenner

Matt Scott

Joe Chambers

Jacob Counts

Jeremy Lade

Jaimie Mazzi

Eric Barber

Matt Lesperance





Coaches from UW-Whitewater:

Steve Wilson

Tracy Chynoweth

Mike Bauler











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