The Daily Illini

Three former Illinois men’s wheelchair basketball players qualify for Paralympics

Wheelchair basketball player and Team USA captain Steve Serio (left) as a junior on Illinois' wheelchair basketball team. Serio, Will Waller (not pictured) and Brian Bell (right, as a freshman at Illinois) have qualified for Team USA for the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Also pictured is Tom Smurr, an Illinois freshman at the time.

By Ryan Wilson

January 12, 2016

Illinois’ wheelchair basketball program continues to contribute players to Team USA for the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Illinois women’s wheelchair basketball players Mega Blunk and Gail Gaeng qualified for the U.S. women’s team and now former Illini Will Waller, Steve Serio and Brian Bell have been named to the 16-player men’s team.The men are joining a team with veteran P...

Women’s wheelchair basketball coach Stephanie Wheeler translates national success to Illinois

By Thomas Polcyn

October 5, 2015

Growing up in North Carolina, Stephanie Wheeler was attached to basketball at a young age.Wheeler is the head coach of the Illinois women’s wheelchair basketball team. During her time as head coach, the team has accomplished a lot. The team made a run to the national championship at the end of last s...

Wheelchair basketball’s Shelby Gruss and her love for the game

By Thomas Polcyn

September 24, 2015

When Shelby Gruss first sat in a wheelchair after a major snowboarding accident at age 18, she thought her career with the game she loved had ended. But four years later, she has redirected her passion for basketball into a position as the captain of the Illinois women’s wheelchair basketball ...

Conversation with an Illini: Martinez Johnson

Conversation with an Illini: Martinez Johnson

By Kevin McCarthy

September 21, 2015

Martinez Johnson is a member of the wheelchair basketball team here at the University of Illinois. He sat down to talk with me, and by the end, completely inspired me. I hope reading his words can do the same for you.Kevin McCarthy: When did you start playing basketball?Martinez Johnson: My freshman y...

Illinois wheelchair basketball in midst of offseason grind

By Thomas Polcyn

September 16, 2015

Illinois’ men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams are putting in preseason work to prime themselves for another successful campaign. Monday through Wednesday they’re in the ARC practicing during the early morning hours. After those practice sessions, many of the players stick around to get so...

UI alumni raise money for wheelchair lift project through Kickstarter

Anando Naqui co-founder of EscaWheel discusses his project and Kickstarter campaign with the media on June June 11.

By Mariah Schaefer

June 14, 2015

Three University of Illinois alumni brought their senior design project to life using Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects.Their project, EscaWheel, is a lift that makes it easier for wheelchair users to go up and down stairs.“What we built was more a proof of concept ...

Illini pleased with freshmen’s effort, hope to see same against UIC

By Shannon Ryan

December 28, 2013

Since his first day on the job, Illinois coach John Groce has preached the motto of toughness and togetherness. That those qualities are already evident in his roster full of freshmen is a surprise. As the Big Ten schedule approaches Tuesday against Indiana, Groce hopes to see that consistent approach...