WASA Nets Third-Straight NWBA Women’s Title

Top-seeded Eagles can't be denied, roll past No. 2 Charlotte for NWBA Women’s Division championship

Top-seeded Eagles can’t be denied, roll past No. 2 Charlotte for NWBA Women’s Division championship

WASA Marquette Eagles player Becca Murray has noticed a trend in recent National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) Women’s Division championship game wins.

“I swear every championship game, like we have a player that just gets left [open],” she says.

This year, it was Sydney Schmidt.

The 22-year-old from Milwaukee put together a solid shooting performance down low, and combined with Murray’s open looks and Natalie Schneider’s presence in the post, the top seed dominated in a 75-51 NWBA Women’s Division championship game victory over the No. 2 seed Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets on Sunday afternoon at the Plassman Athletic Center at Turnstone Center for Children & Adults With Disabilities in Fort Wayne, Ind. It marked WASA’s third straight NWBA Women’s Division title and fifth in the last six seasons of play.

WASA Marquette Eagles player Sydney Schmidt, with ball, scored 18 points in the team’s 75-51 National Wheelchair Basketball Association Women’s Division championship-game win over the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets. (Photo by John Groth).


Schmidt scored 18 points, going 9-of-12 from the field overall, with 12 points coming in the first half — including six points in each of the first and second quarters.

She helped give the Eagles a big third scorer, as 2024 U.S. Paralympic team member and four-time Paralympian Murray had a game-high 29 points and 10 rebounds and teammate and 2024 U.S. Paralympic team member and five-time Paralympian Schneider had 24 points and 11 rebounds.

“This year, it was Sydney, and we just fed her the ball and she finished the layups,” Murray says. “And it was great.”

Schmidt thought so, too. This is her third year playing wheelchair basketball after being diagnosed with autoimmune and neurological disorders. She just found holes or teammates noticed an open spot and gave her direction to go there.

“They’re so experienced that we know that they’re gonna get jumped in everything. So, there has to be openings where the other players have to step up,” Schmidt says.

Tied at 22 with 5 minutes and 30 seconds left in the second quarter, WASA opened the game up. The Eagles went on a 10-0 run, with Schmidt and Murray scoring four points each and Schneider adding two. That gave them a 32-22 advantage, and Charlotte got no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

A 2024 Paralympic team member and two-time Paralympian, Lindsey Zurbrugg led Charlotte with 20 points and five rebounds, while 2016 Paralympian Abby Dunkin added 18 points and six rebounds. Zurbrugg (8-of-19 from the field) and Dunkin (9-of-19 from the field) couldn’t find much of a rhythm. Candice Law added six points and a rebound, while Brittany Gustafson had four points and a rebound for the Rollin’ Hornets.

Lindsey Zurbrugg, in blue with ball, led the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets with 20 points in Sunday’s National Wheelchair Basketball Association Women’s Division championship game loss to the WASA Marquette Eagles. (Photo by John Groth).


Schmidt says WASA’s success stems from being like a family.

“We’re all loving towards one another and want each other to grow and get as as good as we can as a team,” she says. “And we all play for each other, not for ourselves. So, that’s special.”

For Murray, who was born with spina bifida, this shows she can still play at a high level. She took the last Paralympics off and made it this time around.

“You know, for me personally, it feels good to be back where I know I can be. I was retired for quite a bit of years, so it took a little bit to get back to where I know my game can be,” Murray says. “But I love playing with this team. Like, we’re so unselfish. We get the open man the ball, and just everybody can do it. So, we just have that confidence in each other.”

National Wheelchair Basketball Association
Women’s Division Wheelchair Basketball National Championship
13th-Place Game

No. 14 Adaptive Sports Ohio 33, No. 13 ParaSport Spokane 16

11th-Place Game

No. 11 PNW Reign 40, No. 12 Ability360 Mercury 24

Ninth-Place Game

No. 7 Mary Free Bed 28, No. 10 Cincinnati Lady Dragons 18

Seventh-Place Game

No. 5 Lakeshore Lightning 41, No. 8 Memorial Rehabilitation Sharks 18

Fifth-Place Game

No. 9 Angel City Sports 44, No. 6 Dallas Lady Mavericks 38

Third-Place Game

No. 3 Arizona Storm 49, No. 4 LWSRA Lady Hawks 41


No. 1 WASA Marquette Eagles 75, No. 2 Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets 51

National Wheelchair Basketball Association
Military Division Wheelchair Basketball National Championship
Third-Place Game

No. 1B Florida Renegades 40, No. 2B ParaSport Spokane 39


No. 2A Wolfpack Vets 68, No. 1A Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets 53

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