The Daily Illini

Illinois wheelchair basketball hosts first home tournament of season

Ruby Elbert shoots a basket Friday. The Illini won all three games Friday.

By Claire O'Brien, Staff Writer

February 17, 2020

The Illinois wheelchair basketball team played its only home tournament of the season at the ARC Friday and Saturday. Since the team seldom plays in Champaign, they cherished a weekend of playing in front of friends and family. “It was really heartwarming (because) most of the time we’re on the road an...

Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball player joins Colombia National Team

Freshman Dago Saenz and, from left to right, Colin LaFon and Tim Culbertson, holds on the fourth-place trophy after losing to Alabama in the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Association. The loss came after defeating Edinboro in overtime and falling to rival Whitewater over the weekend.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

March 30, 2017

Before Dago Saenz hit the basketball court at the 2017 Youth Parapan American Games, he had to learn parts of a language. Saenz, who was born in Colombia and can speak fluent Spanish, is used to speaking English when playing for the Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team. When he joined the Colo...

Rallying Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team settles with fourth in playoffs

Freshman Dago Saenz and, from left to right, Colin LaFon and Tim Culbertson, holds on the fourth-place trophy after losing to Alabama in the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Association. The loss came after defeating Edinboro in overtime and falling to rival Whitewater over the weekend.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

March 13, 2017

Wheelchair basketball player Spencer Heslop’s father paced from left to right. Arms crossed. Hands in his pockets. Back to arms crossed. Hislop's mother — also wearing a No. 24 jersey — was on the other side of bleachers. As Heslop’s dad looked antsy in the purple stands at the University...

Illinois women’s wheelchair basketball not getting hopes too high for playoffs

The Illinois women’s wheelchair basketball team finished the season with a 1-11 intercollegiate record, but team members plan to try their best in the playoffs.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

March 8, 2017

The members of the Illinois women’s wheelchair basketball team are starting to echo each other as the playoffs approach. “Play hard,” Erica Wilson and Kaitlyn Eaton said. “Finish the season strong.” Illinois enters the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament as the No. 4 seed in a br...

Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team finds laughter before playoffs

Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball practices during halftime in the match against Canadian Academy on Jan. 28. The team will head to the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball tournament this weekend.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

March 8, 2017

Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball’s Mak Nong participated in a shootaround Monday morning when he heard teammate Mike Mitchell tell a quick-witted joke. “Mike is one of those guys that’s going to go out of control at a circus,” Nong said. Cracking jokes is natural for Mitchell, a junio...

Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team ends season on high note

Illini's Ryan Neiswender takes the ball down the court against the Canadian National Team at the ARC on Jan. 28th.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

March 1, 2017

Ryan Neiswender entered his senior year with confidence. Now, he is leaving with even more. “We’re peaking at the right time, which is what’s important,” Neiswender said. “I don’t think our mindset or thought process of what we can achieve has changed.” The Illinois men’s wheelchair...

Buchi emphasizes mental toughness for Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team

Men's Wheelchair basketball's head coach Matt Buchi talks to his players during a timeout at the ARC on Jan. 28th.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

February 17, 2017

Illinois men's wheelchair basketball head coach Matt Buchi has been emphasizing mental toughness since Illinois’ 1-2 finish at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania two weekends ago. After the Illini shot below 35 percent in the first half of two of its three games, Buchi wants the team to start...

Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team seeks inside dominance in Edinboro

Spencer Heslop carries the ball as the Illini Men's Wheelchair Basketball team plays against the Canadian Academy.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

February 3, 2017

The Illinois men's wheelchair basketball team has won five of its last seven games and is coming off a tournament in which it beat the experienced Milwaukee Bucks for the first time this season. Illini head coach Matt Buchi will look to carry their momentum to an intercollegiate tournament this weekend...

Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team adds stunts, downs Bucks

Illinois' Spencer Heslop passes the ball in the tournament against Canadian Academy on Saturday at the ARC.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

January 30, 2017

Head coach Matt Buchi looked over to his left and pulled out an imaginary bow from his back. He aimed it at Patrick Tomic, who was sitting on the opposite side of the bench, and pulled back his right arm in the direction of Tomic. Tomic, then playing off the fun, then fell back and flailed on ...

Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team eyes the Bucks in Champaign

Illinois' Ryan Neiswender takes a shot during the game against Arizona State University at the Activities and Recreation Center on February 13. The Illini won 69-43.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

January 28, 2017

Illinois men's wheelchair basketball's Patrick Tomic is getting taller just in time to face a 6-foot opponent on the court. Tomic, an average-sized guard/forward, started using a new wheelchair last month, and he said it sits higher than his previous chair. “Now that I’m taller and can actually...

Questions remain for Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team beyond leaders

Illinois' Ryan Neiswender takes a shot during the game against Arizona State University at the Activities and Recreation Center on February 13. The Illini won 69-43.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

December 8, 2016

With senior Ryan Neiswender on the court, the Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball is full of aggression. When Neiswender is not driving to the rim, he will habitually roll to the left or right wing to set up a pick and roll with junior Spencer Heslop. The play often leads to an assist to Heslop...

Illinois men’s wheelchair dominated by Whitewater

Illinois' Ryan Neiswender dribbles to the basket during the game against Arizona State University at the Activities and Recreation Center on February 13. The Illini won 69-43.

By Ryan Wilson, Staff writer

November 24, 2016

After the Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball team defeated Southwestern Minnesota State University, the Illini scrambled to the other side of the gym to watch rival Wisconsin-Whitewater play Missouri. Illinois saw the last five minutes of the game between Whitewater and Mizzou. The game foreshadowed...

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