Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

From winning at Worlds to coaching camps: Alabama Adapted’s international athletes give back

Courtesy of Alabama Adapted Athletics
Alabama Adapted Athletics hosts a camp on June 28th through July 1st at Stran-Hardin Arena in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Within a week of coming back from Dubai with bronze medals at the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation World Championships, four Alabama athletes were teaching their skills to the next generation of wheelchair basketball players at its summer camp.  

Alabama Adapted Athletics’ annual summer camp, which is open to athletes ages 12-19, is run by members of the wheelchair basketball team — a combination of national champions, international athletes and Paralympic medalists. Young athletes travel across the country to participate in the four-day camp and learn what the world of wheelchair basketball looks like.   

Senior Bailey Moody, a member of Team USA at the world championships, said her time in Dubai and other international competitions helps improve the Alabama team and camps. 

“It’s more experienced players, so you can then bring that back to your college teams and make your college team better as well,” Moody said. “It pushes you, but it definitely helps you become a better athlete.” 

Moody, with her three collegiate national championships and Tokyo Paralympics bronze medal, said these international experiences help campers, too, especially those who aren’t used to the world of wheelchair basketball.  

“If you get lucky, there’s two teams in a state, but there’s normally one, so your team only practices once or twice a week,” Moody said. “They don’t have that level of experience a college athlete can have just because they’re not training as frequently.” 

Elizabeth Floch, a camper and incoming freshman, said the camp was a great opportunity not only to learn basketball better, but to meet the athletes who play it as well.  

“I think everyone should go to camp because you get to know other people from other teams,” Floch said. “When you’re traveling with your own team, you only hang out with your team.”  

On the counselor side, sophomore Ixhelt Gonzalez, who has played at the international level since she was 13 years old, said she learned a lot of leadership skills at these most recent world championships that she uses on her collegiate team and at camp.  

“My experience in pressure moments, like in games against Germany and the Netherlands, I think I can take back to the Alabama team here, especially with incoming freshmen. I think I can help the incoming freshmen stay composed,” Gonzalez said.  

Gonzalez never participated in camp as a camper, but this year she served as a counselor, coaching new athletes who hope to join the Crimson Tide one day. 

“It’s very fun to give back to the wheelchair basketball community, just because I’ve had tons of players and coaches help me throughout my career growing up so it’s a wonderful opportunity to be here,” Gonzalez said.  

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