Excitement is building for the highly anticipated 3rd annual Wolverine Invitational Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, hosted by University of Michigan Adaptive Sports and Fitness in partnership with St. Clair County Community College (SC4) and supported by the Guardian Life Insurance Company.
Scheduled from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, the event promises to be a thrilling showcase of athleticism and aims to be a beacon for social change. Committed teams include the University of Michigan (NWBA Adult D2), LWSRA Hawks (NAWBL) – Chicago, Kitchener Spinners (CWBL D1) – Ontario, London Forest City Flyers (CWBL D2 / NWBA Adult D3) – Ontario, Brampton Rockets (CWBL D2) – Ontario, University of Arizona (NWBA Intercollegiate Women), Southwest Minnesota State University (NWBA Intercollegiate Men), and the University of Wisconsin Whitewater (NWBA Intercollegiate Men).
The invitational serves as a season opener for all in attendance, and fans should expect teams to come out of the gates ready for high-speed action and strategy. With a full tournament schedule forthcoming, the University of Michigan tips off against the University of Arizona at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29, and the championship game is set for Sunday, Oct. 1 at noon. Additionally, SC4’s new wheelchair basketball team will take on Michigan State University on Saturday, Sept. 30, at 12:30 p.m. in the Wolverine Invitational’s Emerging Teams bracket.
“The rapid growth of our team has been a delight to watch,” said Dr. Feranmi Okanlami, Director of U-M Adaptive Sports & Fitness. “This team has put in countless hours to ensure that this event is one to never forget. I want to personally thank all the teams, volunteers, referees, and sponsors who chose to support this event. Together we will continue to do great things to support the growth of para sport. Go Blue!”
Added U-M Wheelchair Basketball Head Coach Jessica Wynne, “This tournament is an instant classic. Our players love the camaraderie and competition. We are grateful for our partnership with SC4 and thrilled to see them taking to the courts as a team. Our team has grown immensely and we are poised to contend with every team. We are exciting to watch, steeped with talent, and aim to be the hardest-working team out there. I think everyone in attendance can look forward to seeing some high-level wheelchair basketball throughout the weekend and the season to come.”
People from the community also will have the opportunity to try adaptive sports during an Adaptive Sports Clinic between 5 and 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, in the SC4 Fieldhouse.
“SC4 is honored to once again partner with the University of Michigan to host the Wolverine Invitational at the SC4 Fieldhouse,” said SC4 Senior Vice President Dr. Pete Lacey. “The U-M Adaptive Sports & Fitness staff has been instrumental in building awareness and opportunities for our campus and community. We look forward to welcoming so many incredible teams this year and we’re excited to have our own Skippers wheelchair basketball team as part of the event. I encourage all sports fans and community members to come to support this great event. Get ready to watch some of the best athletes in America compete for the Wolverine Invitational title.”
The tournament will follow a round-robin pool play, leading into the quarter-finals and semi-finals on Saturday evening. For more information about the event, including schedules, streaming, ticketing details and updates, visit UM Adaptive Sports & Fitness, follow @umichadaptivesports on Instagram or visit sc4.edu/wolverine.
The co-ed SC4 wheelchair basketball team is open to SC4 students and community members with disabilities or those who are able-bodied and passionate about wheelchair basketball, with priority given to students enrolled at SC4. For more information about joining the wheelchair basketball team at SC4, visit sc4.edu/campus-life/athletics/athlete-interest-form/.