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Ryan Neiswender
Illini alum Ryan Neiswender had four points in Team USA's win

AHS alum Serio leads Team USA basketball to win in Tokyo Paralympics

Illinois alum Steve Serio had a team-high 12 points to lead Team USA to a 65-41 win over Iran in Group B of the Paralympic wheelchair basketball tournament. Team USA is now 2-0 heading into its next game against Great Britain.

“With the COVID layoff, this tournament is about improving each and every day. And today I feel like we took a step in that direction," said Serio, who earned a degree in Kinesiology in the College of Applied Health Sciences.

On whether he’s out for revenge in USA’s next game on Saturday against Great Britain, which defeated them in the final of the 2018 world championships, Serio said, "I don’t think it’s about revenge. I think everybody’s just fighting for a gold medal right now. It’s obviously a big game. I know in my career over the last couple of decades, GB has been one of our rivals but we’re just excited for the opportunity to show what we have tomorrow.”

The 33-year-old Serio is in his fourth Paralympics—having competed for Team USA at the Paralympic Games in 2008, 2012 and 2016—and he won a bronze medal with Team USA in London and gold in Rio in 2016.

Fellow Illini Brian Bell (seven points) and Ryan Neiswender (four points) also contributed to the victory.

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