Posted February 16, 2017 | 10:50 AM

Wheelchair Basketball Team Looks to Improve No. 5 Ranking

Want to Make it to National Tourney

Hillsborough County, Fla. (Feb. 15, 2017) - Florida and FSU aren't the only basketball teams making a case to boost their national rankings as March Madness nears. The Tampa Bay Strong Dogs wheelchair basketball team will host a major tournament featuring five nationally ranked teams this weekend at Hillsborough County's All People's Life Center.

With a current No. 5 ranking in Division II, the Strong Dogs are pushing to make their eighth consecutive appearance in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association tournament, to be held March 29-April 2 in Louisville, Kentucky. This weekend's six-team Sunshine Shootout Wheelchair Basketball Tournament features a round-robin style format that includes:

  • Miami Heat Wheels: No. 11 in Division I
  • Shepherd Steelers: No. 17 in Division I
  • Lakeshore Storm: Unranked in Division I
  • Fort Lauderdale Sharks: No. 7 in Division II
  • Shepherd Steelers: No. 12 in Division II

The Strong Dogs compete as part of Paralympic Sport Tampa Bay, a signature program of Hillsborough County Parks & Recreation. The team has 17 players, several of them injured veterans, who practice the physically demanding sport two hours a day, twice a week at All People's.

WHAT: Sunshine Shootout Wheelchair Basketball Tournament
WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 18 (games are at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. 2:30 p.m., 4 p.m.); Sunday, Feb. 19 (two games at 9 a.m., one at 10:30 a.m.)
WHERE: All People's Life Center, 6105 E. Sligh Ave., Tampa