Minneapolis, MN

SMSU alumnus Josh Turek set to return to USA Paralympic Wheelchair basketball team

Abdi Isaaq

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Josh Tureksmsu.edu

MINNEAPOLIS, MN — Southwest Minnesota State University alumnus and wheelchair basketball standout Josh Turek has been selected to join the 2021 USA Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team that will compete at the Tokyo Paralympics on August 24 through September 5.

The 12-man team announced by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) on June 15, the organization that governs the sport in the United States, features eight athletes that previously competed and won gold at the Paralympic Games 2016 in Rio. Another 11 were part of the team that won gold at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru.

The roster announcement came at the conclusion of a three-day Toyota Team USA Men’s Selection Camp at the University of Texas-Arlington.

This will be the fourth time Turek, 42, has been named to play for Team USA in the Paralympics. In 2004, Turek was part of a team that took seventh place in Athens and was a member of the 2012 team that took home bronze in London. Turek last returned home proudly when he helped Team USA get the gold in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The gold medal won in 2016 was the first for Team USA since 1988 and its eighth gold medal. Turek scored six points in the gold medal game victory over Spain.

Turek returned to play for Team USA on the 2019 Parapan American Games team and opted to go for one more Paralympic medal in 2021.

“We were very pleased with how competitive this year’s selection was. Without having the chance to train together in over a year and a half we picked up where we left off,” said U.S. head coach Ron Lykins in an NWBA news release. “The twelve athletes selected give us plenty of veteran leadership that should help us have success in Tokyo. We are very excited to work with this team.”

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