Thursday, September 16, 2010

MIZZOU Wheelchair Basketball Season Schedule

Here you go guys!  The MU Wheelchair Basketball schedule has been posted!  Games are as follows:

Saturday, October 30th (@ MU Rec. Center) - 11:00 A.M.:  Tiger Wheelchair Basketball Classic Home Opener
(MU games on October 30th also at 1:30 P.M. & 4:00 P.M.)
Opponents TBA

Sunday, October 31st (@ MU Rec. Center) - 9:00 A.M.:  Tiger Wheelchair Basketball Classic Home Opener
(MU game on October 31st also at 11:30 A.M.)
Opponents TBA

Tuesday, November 9th (@ MU Rec. Center)- 8:00 A.M.:  Tigers vs. Columbia Predators

Friday, November 19th- Sunday November 21st (@ University of Wisconsin- Whitewater)- ALL 3 DAYS:  Tournament @ UW- Whitewater 

Thursday, December 4th- Saturday, December 6th (@ University of Illinois) - ALL 3 DAYS:  Tournament @ University of Illinois

Saturday, December 18th & Sunday, December 19th (@ Pittsburgh State; Pittsburgh, Kansas) - ALL 2 DAYS:  Gorilla Invitational 

Saturday, January 15th & Sunday, January 16th (@ Arkansas) -  ALL 2 DAYS:  vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

Saturday, January 22nd & Sunday, January 23rd (@ University of Illinois) - ALL 2 DAYS:  vs. University of Illinois

Friday, February 11th & Saturday, February 12th (HOME- MU Rec. Center) -  ALL 2 Days:  **College Division Tournament**

Tuesday, February 22nd (@ MU Rec. Center) - 8:00 A.M.:  vs. Columbia Predators

Tuesday, March 1st (@ MU Rec. Center) - 8:00 A.M.: vs. Columbia Predators

Thursday, March 10th- Sunday, March 13th (@ University of Texas- Arlington)- ALL 4 DAYS:  **Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball National Championships**

For further information you can contact the MU Rec. Center at (573) 832-2066 or me on my cell phone at (405) 412-4151.

You can also see the schedule online at:


My apologies to Connor Downes for posting that he played junior club team basketball with the Minnesota Royals.  This was about as far from accurate as I could have been, as Connor in FACT played for the Minnesota Timberwolves, where he and the T-Wolves won nationals 3 consecutive times.  My bad Connor!

Also, I'd like to mention a member of the team who I (because I'm stupid) forgot to post on the last entry.

Dustin Casey-  An amazing point guard from Kansas.  This dude has basketball talent that reaches to some of the best I've seen in a long time.

Hope to see you guys out to some events!

MIZ!                                                                                                                     ZOU!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Welcome to the ZOU

Hey dudes and dudets!

So it's been a really long time since last I've posted, and for that I'm truly sorry.  A lot has happened in my life in the past 5 weeks or so, and it's been nothing short of a stress-filled transition now from my trip to Europe to school here in Missouri.

First, let me post some corrections about the medal count from the IWAS (International Wheelchair and Ambulatory Sports Federation) Games:

In all, the the 14 USA athletes netted a grand total of 38 medals!!!
                                                                       Of the 38- 9 gold
                                                                                       17 silver
                                                                                       12 bronze

It was, as I've told many of you already, a really awesome experience.

It was really neat to get to share in this experience with everybody, however, the celebration time was extremely short lived.  It seems as though as soon as I landed back in Oklahoma City, I was home for about a half a day, then I moved straight on to Columbia.

The reaction I got from many of the team members from the basketball team here at MU was one of, "Oh, how'd you do in the Czech?  Oh that's neat.  Alright, now time to work!"  And they weren't kidding.  What was going to hit me that week, and especially the week after that, turned out to be some of the hardest work I've ever put in to an athletic endeavor.

So far in basketball practices our week usually goes something like this:

Monday- 2X2 scrimmage work
Tuesday- Boot camp (which is nothing short of its name)
Wednesday- Scrimmage
Thursday- Scrimmage (or) 2X2 scrimmage work
Friday- Chair skills

(Occasionally we also scrimmage in the evenings after everyone's done with classes for the day.  This usually happens on Monday or Tuesday.)

Needless to say, I'm tired.  My hands are the most tired, as I now count 14 blisters on my hands from all the continuous pushing.  Also, on none of these days can I expect to wake up any later than 7:00.  In fact, I'd say I now consider getting to sleep in till 7:00 a privilege.  Normally my alarm clock likes to go off around 5:00 or 5:30 these days.


Our roster for this year looks something like this:
(I'm not sure of exact positions of everybody yet or numbers, and this is in no particular order)

Jake Wigg- Junior from Omaha, Nebraska.  Has competed on the U23 Team USA in overseas competitions at least once.
Carter Arey- Junior from Columbia, Missouri.  Around 6'3" standing up (approx. 4'6" in his basketball chair.  Big.)
Connor Downes- Sophomore from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Also has competed on the U23 Team USA.  Won two national championships with his high school club team the Minnesota Royals.
Brenden "B" Downes-  Brother to Connor.  A 23 year old from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Played on the University of Arizona's wheelchair basketball team, then transferred here for his last season of eligibility.
Jannik Blair-  Freshmen from Melbourne, Australia.  Competes on the Australian National Team.
Andrew "Tuck" Tucker-  Senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Don't let this guy shoot, 'cause he WILL sink it!
Alex Ashton- Freshmen from Baltimore, Maryland.  Big class 1 player.  This guy's gonna be good!
Bobby Voss-  Senior from St. Louis, Missouri.  Fastest guy on the court.
Casey Adams- Senior from St. Louis, Missouri.  Gives Bobby a run for his money as to who's the fastest.
Greg Anger-  Senior from Wisconsin.  Fastest player with CP I've ever seen.  Great inside threat.  Competed at least twice on the U23 National Team
Kate Cahill-  The only female on the team.  She's a spinal cord injury athlete.  She won't be able to play with us in our D-1 games, but she'll play with us when we play D-2 and D-3 teams which I'm really excited about. She's really good.

In short, I think it's going to be a fantastic season!  I can't wait to get it started!

I'll post a tournament schedule as soon as I get it, so be looking for that.


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Czech This Out!

It's been a long couple of weeks.  The trip to the Czech Republic seemed like it took forever.  Though it was only 12 days, so much was packed in to those 12 days that it made each single day feel like 2 or 3.  It was really a wonderful experience getting to see the ancient city of Prague though, and the Terizen Prision Camp and three castles we went to see were completely worth the hard work that was put in to the trip. 

Now a little about the competition.

World Games 2010 consisted of just over 200 athletes representing 25 countries.  In the swimming meet, the United States took home 9 medals (though how many were gold, silver, and bronze escapes me).  So, needless to say, it was a very good meet for the swimmers. 

Track athletes had some good luck on their side too.  Though again, exact medal count escapes me.  We always have great track athletes though.  We breed 'em good in the U.S.A.

Field went extremely well, with at least 7 medals going to the United States, three of which were gold.

A huge shout out goes to my buddy Stephen, who was sick all week and still was able to pull himself together well enough to take gold in the discus throw.  'Atta boy Stephen!

As for me, my current world rankings for the U20 age group are: 5th place- discus, 3rd place- shot put, and 1st place- javelin.

It was a really good trip.  Hopefully I can go again for World Games 2011 in Dubai!!!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crunch Time!

Things are heating up! With just two days till I fly out to Prague, Czech Republic, and my last practice with Coach Roger and Adam Saldana behind me, the pressure, suspense, and excitement is building tremendously!

Today was a big day.  I woke up this morning and did a throwing practice for the last time under Coach Charter (a.k.a. "Mini Fridge", though don't call him that to his face, as he can pack quite a punch).  It was a good practice, as I feel I'm peaking at just the right time for World's.  Sad, however, was Roger's reaction after practice when he watched his "two favorite athletes" climb down out of their Field chairs for the last time "under his power".  I don't know if I've ever seen a guy with such big shoulders tear up like that before.  Come to think of it, yes I have (Roger's kind of a sappy guy).  After eleven years of coaching me, and four years coaching Adam, he talked a lot in our last little pep-talk about how far he's seen us come and how he believes in us, as he always has, even when we sometimes didn't believe in ourselves.

Later in the afternoon I met up with the head coach of Team USA (and my personal OKC coach) Denise Hutchens to pick up my USA jersey, and other clothes.  It's really nice to, after eight months of practicing, finally see what I hope I'll be wearing on the gold medal stand.

Lord willing my next post will be from the Czech.  :)

Psalm 18:49- "Therefore I will praise you among the nations, oh Lord;  I will sing praises to your Name."

Psalm 30:12- "...that my heart may sing and not be silent.  Oh LORD, my God, I will give thanks to you forever."

Czech Republic- 2 days

First day of Class- 18


Friday, August 6, 2010

Transition Time

Seeing as this blog was only created less than a week ago, I don't expect that a lot of people will be reading in, but I though it would be fun to do another post (a REAL post) anyway.

The famous "transition period" from high school to college has started!  It's a time when young students such as myself pack up all their belongings, wave so-long to their parents and pets, and move on to another phase of their lives.  Most students, however, don't have to do this transition phase with a big overseas trip looming immediately before it.

As you guys probably already know, I'm headed to World Games in the Czech Republic in barely more than a week, and I have to have all my stuff packed up before I go.  How does one do this without losing his mind?  Easy answer, he loses his mind first, then he gets to packing.  I'm semi-prone to panic attacks, and believe me, a few have hit (though not real bad) the past few days.  Gearing up to go overseas as 1 of only 18 athletes in the United States to represent, in my opinion, the world's greatest country on foreign soil in the form of "sport" is enough pressure, but knowing the whole time I'm there that as soon as I land back home I am moving and starting another challenge-filled portion of my life is a pretty daunting thought.

I don't want it to sound at all like I'm not thrilled about all that's happening in my life; because even through the panic attacks, the ever-constant question of, "Does this shirt go in suitcase, or a box?", and the still 3 practices left I have with Coach Roger and Adam, I'm still completely excited that I've been given the opportunities God has so generously blessed me with.  There are billions of athletes on this planet, and I know that the LORD has given me the opportunity to be 1 of 18 to do this competition, and I'm eternally grateful for that.

I guess the point I'm getting at is that I hope and pray, as I hope you are too, that I will be able to rise to these occasions flying my way.  I've been given great chances to "show my stuff" in life, and I really hope that I don't drop the ball on this one.  In the very back of my mind, I guess I'm worried that I will.  Confidence is something I'm not lacking, but I don't have an overwhelming sense of it either.  There's a lot coming my way, especially in the next 4 or so weeks, and I guess no matter how confident a person may seem to be on the outside, nervousness is ALWAYS a factor.

Czech Republic: 8 Days

First Day of School/Basketball: 24 Days


Thursday, August 5, 2010


Hey guys, welcome to my blog!  I've been wanting to set up one of these for a few months now.  It should make it much easier for you guys to follow not only what's going on in my athletic life, but also what's going on in the disabled sporting world in general.  There are a lot of things going on in the exciting and ever changing world of sport!

I plan to use this site to inform people of Team USA info. and events, as well as to let you know about when the University of Missouri's wheelchair basketball team has stuff going on.  I'll post seasonally schedules, give inside looks about MIZZOU, and other teams, and post anything else regarding those subjects.

Thanks for reading!