Staff members also took part in the international event
Four University of Alabama Adapted Athletics student-athletes represented the U.S. in the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation World Championships in Dubai in June where Team USA earned the bronze medal.
“This was my first time at a World Championship event. It was a real honor to be on this coaching staff and get to work with these twelve amazing athletes,” said Ryan Hynes, head coach for UA’s women’s wheelchair basketball who also served as assistant coach for Team USA.
“This was the first time the women’s team has medaled at a World Championship since 2010 and I think that we have only scratched the surface of our potential. I am super proud of this team and even more excited to see what the future holds.”
Bailey Moody, Lindsey Zurbrugg, Ixhelt Gonzalez and Abby Bauleke have played in international games before and the players seem to just growing their game with each competition.
“I’m super proud of how quickly this squad came together. We had only been a full squad for two months prior to this major competition,” said graduate student Zurbrugg. “This team gets stronger the more we play together and we are ready to peak in Paris [at the 2024 Paralympics].”
Junior Moody agreed. “I am super proud of this team and excited to see what the future holds. We’ve already shown so much growth and accomplishment, and I’ve loved competing with these ladies.”
All four athletes have competed on an international level multiple times, often earning medals.
Zurbrugg was part of the 2017 America’s Cup team that won a silver medal in Cali, Colombia.
All four athletes competed for Team USA in 2019 at the IWBF Under 25 World Championships where they earned the gold medal.
Freshman Gonzalez helped Team USA earn silver at the 2022 Americas Cup and she was part of the bronze medal winning team from the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics. Most recently Gonzalez added to the Adapted Athletics trophy case this summer as they earned a silver medal in Brazil at the 2022 Americas Cup.
Bauleke’s most prestigious playing accomplishment would be her bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
UA Employee One of Two U.S. Refs
Darrell Hargreaves also represented UA in Dubai as one of 32 referees and one of only two from the U.S. By day, Hargreaves is the associate director of facility operations for University Recreation, but off campus he’s traveling the world as a basketball referee.
“I have been refereeing internationally since 2009 and have been fortunate enough to have been selected for a few Paralympic, World Championships and other qualifying tournaments,” he said. “My first tournament was the America’s Cup in Vancouver where I earned my zone license. However, my first big tournament was the Paralympics in London, in 2012.”
In Dubai, Hargreaves earned a spot to officiate the women’s gold medal game and plans to one day top that experience.
“I hope to be selected for the upcoming Parapan American Games in November held in Santiago, Chile and hopefully be selected for Paris to work the Paralympics in 2024.”
Jennifer Brady, UA Strategic Communications, email@example.com