TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The University of Alabama’s wheelchair basketball teams will close the 2016-17 regular season with the annual Collegiate Classic, Friday and Saturday at UA.
University of Alabama Adapted Athletics program, in partnership with the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UA, will host six teams, including rivals Auburn University and the University of Illinois, in games at the Student Recreation Center and Foster Auditorium.
The tournament’s main events will be held Saturday, Feb. 25, at Foster Auditorium. The UA women’s team will face the University of Illinois at 5:30 p.m., followed by the UA men facing Illinois at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is free.
The games in Foster will be broadcast live in Birmingham on WTTO-CW 21 and in Springfield/Champaign/Decatur, Illinois on WBUI-CW 23.
Games can be viewed live at abc3340.com/live/event.
American Sports Network will rebroadcast the games March 5 at 10 a.m. and noon and again March 12 at the same times.
A full schedule of games can be found at champions.ua.edu. Each attendee Saturday night will receive a free raffle ticket for several prizes that will be given away throughout the game.
The UA men’s team enters the tournament with an 8-7 record and will play three games in the two-day tournament. The team has two seniors, Shaun Castle and Sean Burns. Michael Auprince leads the team with 20.1 points and 11.1 rebounds per game. Ryan Morich is second on the team with 10.1 points per game.
The UA women’s team enters the tournament with a record of 12-5 and will play three games in the tournament. Arinn Young and Babara Gross, a German international who earned a silver medal in wheelchair basketball at Rio, lead the team with 18.2 and 8.8 points per game, respectively. Young also leads the team in rebounds. The team’s senior is Brittany Gustafson.
UA is home to five national championships in men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball (2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015). Wheelchair tennis has won two national championships (2013, 2015).
The UA Adapted Athletic Program began in 2003 with women’s wheelchair basketball. The program has since grown to include 30 student-athletes in women’s basketball, men’s basketball team, wheelchair tennis, para-rowing and adapted golf. More than 100 students participate in the program’s noncompetitive sports options.
The tournament will cap a week of positive news for UA’s Adapted Athletics program following the official ground-breaking ceremony of the program’s $10 million multi-use facility, which will be located along the south façade of the UA Student Recreation Center. The facility, which will include a game venue, training rooms, weight rooms and study halls, will be completed later this year.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.