Tuscaloosa, Ala. – Dr. Margaret Stran and Miles Thompson of the wheelchair basketball program at The University of Alabama have been named assistant coaches for the United States National Wheelchair Basketball Team.
Stran is the head coach of the UA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team, and Thompson is the head coach of the UA Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team and assistant coach of the women’s team.
“These are very prestigious coaching positions, as all expenses are paid by the U.S. Olympic Committee for training camps and competitions, and the coaching staff will be selecting and coaching the top wheelchair athletes in the country,” said Dr. Brent Hardin, director of UA Disability Sports. “Both Miles and Margaret were recruited by the head coach of the U.S. team to join the staff.”
Both coaches were once wheelchair basketball players and have years of experience coaching the sport. “I’ve been coaching at Alabama for seven years, which is when Dr. Hardin and I started the wheelchair athletics program,” said Stran.
Thompson is beginning his fourth year coaching wheelchair basketball at UA, and is excited about his new position with the U.S. National Team. “On one hand it feels like the next logical step in what I do, and on the other hand I’m a bit giddy to be part of a world-stage athletic competition,” said Thompson.
Stran is also looking forward to coaching a U.S. team. “The opportunity to coach on the international level with and against the best players in the world is very exciting,” said Stran.
The U.S. team will travel around the world to compete in tournaments. This year, they will play in Osaka, Japan, in the World Championships in Birmingham, England, and in the North American Cup in the United States. They will also compete in the Olympic/Paralympic Games in England in two years.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.