The Rockford Park District’s Junior Chariots Wheelchair Basketball team just won the Junior Varsity Division of the 2014 National Wheelchair Basketball Associations’ 2014 National Tournament in Louisville, Kentucky.
The team beat the Junior Sioux Wheelers from Sioux Falls, South Dakota 45-30.
“The Junior Chariots have never won a National Tournament in the team’s 19-year history,” General Manager Paula Reiter said. “We worked hard to get to this point but didn’t go into this tournament expecting to be No. 1 in the end. We played against some of the best players in the nation but we pulled together and now the national spotlight is on the Junior Chariots. We are making history and this is a moment nobody will ever forget,”
Junior Chariots team member Jake Gregor also received Most Valuable Player. The team will attend a banquet tonight in Kentucky where they will receive the national trophy.
The Junior Chariots basketball team is made up of eight members, ranging in age from 8 to 18. Members include: Joel Boomer, Jessie Garrett, Will Glendenning, Jake Gregor, Nikki McGee, Brenden Ojibway, Cameron Poole, and Peyton Withrow.
The Jr. Chariots are coached by Justin South, along with Assistant Coach Dominique Walker. Paula Reiter, Rockford Park District Therapeutic Recreation Adapted Sports Coordinator serves as the General Manager.
A celebration for the team was scheduled to take place on Tuesday at Midway Village Museum as team members, coaches, park district staff, along with family and friends gathered.
Season highlights included traveling and competing in six tournaments throughout the Midwest, including competitions in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin; first place at their home holiday tournament in December at Harlem High School; third out of ten teams at the 2014 Midwest Tournament hosted by the Jr. Chariots; and fourth place at the ISHA State Championship in Peoria.
–News Bulletin news sources