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Ryan Neiswender
Ryan Neiswender is one of three Illini playing for Team USA

Team USA wheelchair basketball to compete for medals this weekend

Team USA’s men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams will both take aim at medals over the weekend after impressive marches through the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

The men’s team, led by Illini alumni Steve Serio (nine points), Brian Bell (20 points) and Ryan Neiswender (two points), defeated Spain 66-52 to advance to the gold medal game against Japan on Saturday night. (10:30 p.m. CT)

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.

“This is a special group, down to every player, down to the staff that we have, and the people supporting us behind the scenes,” Serio said. “It’s been the greatest honor of my career to say that I can lead Team USA.”

The women’s team—which includes Illini stars Ali Ibanez and Kaitlyn Eaton—will square off with Germany for the bronze medal at 4:45 a.m. EDT on Saturday.

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