Matt Buchi has been appointed head coach of the United States’ men’s wheelchair basketball team for the 2015 Kitakyushu Champions’ Cup in Japan, the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) has announced.
Buchi has just completed his second year as head coach of the wheelchair basketball team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, guiding the team to second in the 2015 National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.
His experience also extends to being a player as he won two Junior National Championships before winning two College National Championships, one as an athlete and one as an assistant coach, while he was also the assistant coach of the University of Alabama women's team in 2011 when they won the Women's College National Championship.
"Matt has been involved in the NWBA as a junior athlete, collegiate player and assistant coach and a United States assistant coach and this is a great opportunity for him to take the next step in his coaching career,” said Dan Humphreys, director of sport and high performance at the NWBA.
“We look forward to having him work with his staff and athletes to represent the best of the United States and wheelchair basketball in Japan.”
The tournament in Kitakyushu City is set to commemorate the 2002 Kitakyushu Gold Cup won by the United States and is now referred to as the Wheelchair Basketball World Championship.
Four teams are set to participate in the Champions’ Cup and, with only players under the age of 30 eligible to compete, the tournament is designed to nurture young players who may be able to participate at Tokyo 2020.
The US will face Britain, South Korea and hosts Japan in the tournament set to be held from November 13 to 15.
Kitakyushu City is also due to be offered to teams as a potential training camp destination in 2020 for countries competing at the Paralympics to help create a successful tournament.
"It's an extreme honour to represent and lead Team USA in this tournament,” said Buchi.
“We are excited to show the world the young talent USA Wheelchair Basketball has when we set our sights on Tokyo 2020."
In addition to his successful coaching of the University of Illinois, Buchi has also worked with wheelchair basketball camps and clinics in Japan, Israel, Africa and Mexico, while he ran some elementary-aged clinics to help America’s women's national team at the London 2012 Paralympics.
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