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LKN to host national wheelchair basketball championship

250 athletes will compete, bringing talent and tourism dollars to the region

The NWBA women's team competes (NWBA photo)

The National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s (NWBA) International Tournament of Champions is coming to the Lake Norman region Aug. 7-14. Two hundred and fifty of the world’s most elite wheelchair basketball athletes and coaches will compete for the championship title.

Teams will be holding training camps in the area as early as July 31. The USA Men’s team, along with teams from Canada, Germany, Great Britain, and Japan, is looking forward to a rematch with the Australian defending 2010 World Champions. The USA Women will be defending their World Champions and Paralympics Champions titles and against Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Japan. The games will be web broadcast to over 15,000 people worldwide on NWBA U-TV.

The tournament competitions will be held in Cornelius at Bailey Middle School and J.V. Washam Elementary School, and in Huntersville at Barnette Elementary School, Hopewell High School, Huntersville Elementary School, and Lake Norman Charter middle and high schools. Additional gymnasiums in Cornelius and Davidson are also being considered. Visit Lake Norman worked in partnership with Cornelius PARC, Hopewell High School, and Huntersville Parks and Recreation to secure facilities to host the event.

The event, secured by Visit Lake Norman, is expected to generate an estimated $502,500 in visitor spending and 900 hotel room nights in Cornelius and Huntersville.

“The NWBA with its International Tournament of Champions wheelchair basketball tournament has been totally embraced with great southern hospitality by Visit Lake Norman and the Cornelius and Huntersville Parks and Recreation Departments,” NWBA President Dick Bryant said in a press release.

The NWBA was founded in 1948 by World War II veterans after many came home with disabilities. Today the organization consists of men’s, women’s, intercollegiate, and youth teams throughout the U.S. and Canada. Comprised of over 200 basketball teams across 22 conferences and seven divisions, the mission of the NWBA is to provide qualified individuals with physical disabilities the opportunity to play, learn and compete in the sport of wheelchair basketball.

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