Richmond to Host 2024 Wheelchair Basketball Nationals
RICHMOND, VA – (Thursday, March 23, 2023) – The National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA), Sportable, Central Virginia’s premier adaptive sports club, Richmond Region Tourism, and Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority are proud to host the 2024 Adult and Junior Division Wheelchair Basketball National Tournaments. To be held over the first two weekends in April, the Championships will be held at the state-of-the-art Henrico Sports & Event Center in Henrico, Virginia.
“We are thrilled to announce that Junior & Adult Wheelchair Basketball Championships will be held in Richmond, VA in 2024,” commented Matt Pierre, NWBA Board of Directors, and National Tournaments Evaluation Team member. “The team in Richmond – Richmond Region Tourism, Sportable, and the Henrico Sports Authority – put together an impressive bid, and are committed to elevating our championship events to the next level. We are excited for this opportunity, and believe our members will love the experience that will be offered.”
“We are grateful for the support of the NWBA, Richmond Region Tourism, and Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority to bring the 2024 Wheelchair Basketball National Championships to Richmond,” commented Hunter Leemon, Sportable Executive Director. “We have the infrastructure in place to execute a world class event, and we are confident that our community will embrace the NWBA – athletes, families, staff, volunteers, and supporters – and create the best championship experience possible.”
The top 16 ranked wheelchair basketball teams for each Adult Division (I, II, III) will earn an invitation to their respective divisions’ national tournament April 12-14, 2024. The top 32 ranked teams for Varsity level and the top 16 ranked teams from Prep level will earn an invitation to participate in the NWBA Varsity and Prep Wheelchair Basketball National Championships one week prior, April 5-7, 2024. In total, 96 teams and over 1,100 wheelchair basketball players will compete for a coveted national title during the two events.
“It is an honor to be selected by the NWBA leadership team to host the NWBA National Championship Series,” said Jerrine Lee, Vice President of Sales for Richmond Region Tourism. “This a great opportunity for our region to showcase our outstanding facilities and attractions, and showcase our pride and commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive destination where everyone can play. We are honored to partner with Sportable and the Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority to provide a world-class experience for the athletes, coaches and fans.”
The host venue, Henrico Sports & Event Center, is set to open in September 2023 and features more than 115,000-square feet of adaptable event space with 12 basketball courts.
“We’re very excited to welcome the NWBA and its athletes to our new indoor sports and events center,” said Dennis Bickmeier, Executive Director of the Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority. “This tournament will be a signature event in the early history of the facility. We look forward to working with our partners to deliver this showcase event to our community and witnessing the athleticism and teamwork that will happen over the two weeks of competition.”
Founded in 1981, the Rim Riders wheelchair basketball team has been a mainstay in Richmond for more than 40 years. The team merged with Sportable in 2017 and is a Division II member of the NWBA. The Rim Riders are currently ranked 14th in the country, and will compete in the 2023 NWBA National Championships in Wichita, Kansas March 31-April 2.
For nearly 18 years, Sportable has created opportunities and transformed lives through sport for individuals with physical disabilities and visual impairments. The non-profit organization provides sporting opportunities to more than 400 athletes of all ages by offering competitive and recreational adaptive sports programs year-round. By fostering a fun, inclusive, competitive, and accessible environment, Sportable transforms the lives of athletes and frees them to see beyond their disabilities, enhances their peer relationships and helps them to reach their personal finish line. To make an impact today, visit Sportable.com/donate.
About the National Wheelchair Basketball Association
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is the recognized National Organization for Wheelchair Basketball by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation and the High Performance Management Organization by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. The NWBA trains and selects teams for participation in the Paralympic Games, World Championships, and other international competitions. The NWBA was founded in 1949, and today consists of seven divisions including: Adult Division (I, II and III), Women’s Division, Intercollegiate Men’s Division, Intercollegiate Women’s Division and Junior Division. For more information, visit: www.nwba.org.
About Richmond Region Tourism
Richmond Region Tourism is a private, not-for-profit dedicated to promoting the Region to meeting, convention and sports event planners, tour operators and leisure travelers. The organization represents the cities of Richmond and Colonial Heights, the town of Ashland and four counties: Chesterfield, Hanover, Henrico, and New Kent. Richmond Region Tourism operates Visitor Centers at the Robinson House at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and the Richmond International Airport.
About Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority
The Henrico Sports & Entertainment Authority is responsible for the county’s sports tourism program which brings in over $60M in economic impact annually as well as the management of Henrico’s public/private investments. This includes the new 185,000-square-foot Henrico Sports & Events Center and the future 17,000-seat arena at the GreenCity site. Other public/private facilities that fall under the Authority are Belmont Golf Course and the Frank J. Thornton YMCA Aquatic Center.