The TIRR Memorial Hermann junior Hotwheels basketball team is the National Champion. The Hotwheels defeated Minnesota’s Courage Center Timberwolves 73-45 Saturday to claim the title in Louisville, Ky.
The team entered the National Wheelchair Basketball Association’s National Championship Tournament as the number one seed in their division and never looked back. The Hotwheels rolled through the field defeating teams from Chicago, Michigan and Dallas on their way to the title.
Cypress Ranch High School senior Victor Meza was named the most valuable player of the championship game. Meza along with Elkins High School senior Fabian Romo earned first team All-American honors. Romo was also named to the second team, All-Academic team.
Romo refers to his teammates as his family and as a senior on the team, sees himself as a big brother to the younger players. “I wanted to win this for the rest of the team,” said Romo. “It’s the perfect way to end the season and my senior year.” Romo has earned a full scholarship to the University of Texas at Arlington and will play for the school’s nationally recognized, Movin Mavs, wheelchair basketball team in the fall.
“I’m proud of my team, they fought hard all season long and have certainly earned this championship title,” says assistant coach Ava Skrabanek. “They deserve it and I’m so happy to be a part of the family.”
Summer Creek High School’s Daquan Minor is one of three seniors on the team. “I’m excited to have accomplished what we’ve been working so hard for all season,” said Minor.
The Hotwheels have a strong group of underclassmen returning next season. Abraham Hausman-Weiss is a junior at the Emery/Weiner School in Houston. Hausman-Weiss was named a second team All-American and earned first team honors on the All-Academic team.
Carrington Marendes, brothers Aaron and Peter Berry, Angel Palomares and Dustin Stallberg are also members of the championship team and expected to rejoin Hausman-Weiss for next season. The team will practice off and on during the summer with some attending basketball camps. Practice for the 2015-2016 will officially begin in October.
The TIRR Memorial Hermann adult Hotwheels also competed in Louisville. The team entered the Division III group seeded 11 and finished in sixth place.