April 2- Legendary Canadian wheelchair basketball coach Mike Frogley will lead the Wheelchair Basketball Canada Academy in Toronto - the first of its kind in the world - when it launches later this year.
Frogley took Canada's men's wheelchair basketball team to the Syndey 2000 and Athens 2004 Paralympic Games in his first stint as head coach, winning gold on both occasions, before also winning a World Championship gold medal as assistant coach in 2006.
He also led the Canadian men's team to a silver medal at Beijing 2008, and will now be given the role of Academy Director for Wheelchair Basketball Canada, which will see him step down from his position as head coach of the University of Illinois men's wheelchair basketball team.
"The Academy is unique in that, really for the first time ever, it links everything together." said Frogley.
"I am excited to enter a situation where I can literally have an impact on everybody in Canada who is involved in wheelchair basketball.
"Every athlete, coach, official, and facilitator is touched in some way by the high performance programme.
"Some individuals will go through the programme and contribute to the future success of the national teams, other individuals will go back to their communities with new skills and leadership that will contribute to the growth of the game as a whole."
Starting in July the Wheelchair Basketball Canada Academy, which is funded through partnerships with Own the Podium, the Canadian Paralympic Committee, and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. will bring together a handpicked selection of elite Canadian athletes and personnel, under the expert tutelage of one of the game's top minds.
Wheelchair Basketball Canada executive director Wendy Gittens expressed her faith in Frogley to develop up-and-coming talent in Canada, which is recognised as the world's leading wheelchair basketball nation.
"Mike possesses a distinct and unparalleled ability to take raw talent and transform it into skill." she said
"Good players are great under Mike because he understands how to maximise individual potential within a team dynamic.
"When it comes to deep knowledge of wheelchair basketball, insight into how the game is developing and where it is going, he is the brightest mind in the game,"
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