University of Illinois Wheelchair Basketball

29 02 2012

I attended the University of Illinois for my undergraduate education, and recently I had a good reason to be proud of my alma mater.  A local Houston girl will soon be attending  the University of Illinois to play for the University of Illinois wheelchair basketball team next season.  Jersey Village High School senior Kaitlyn Eaton signed a letter of intent on February 23rd during an event held in the Jersey Village gymnasium.

Jersey Village senior Kaitlyn Eaton, joined by TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels basketball coach Genny Gomez, signs a letter of intent to play for the wheelchair basketball team at the University of Illinois in 2012-2013. (Photo by Annie Sanders, JVHS)

The University of Illinois Adapted Varsity Athletics Program has a long tradition of leadership and excellence in wheelchair sports. This tradition encompasses all campus activities related to being a student-athlete. It also serves to motivate and set a standard of expectation that makes the University of Illinois the premier school for individuals interested in exploring their academic and athletic potential.

Eaton has been a member of the TIRR Memorial Hermann Hotwheels wheelchair basketball team for three seasons.   Although she was born missing five vertebrae, Eaton has blossomed into a talented athlete and basketball player. She is an honors student at Jersey Village and a leader in her church youth group.  Eaton’s long-term goal is to qualify for the women’s national wheelchair basketball team for the 2016 Paralympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Academically, Eaton will be able to receive one of the best educations available in the nation; ultimately making her prepared for today’s competitive job market.  Athletically, Eaton will receive training of Olympic and Paralympic caliber.  The University of Illinois’ coaching and training staff have more international experience than any other program in the nation.

Eaton’s friends join her as she celebrates her signing in the Jersey Village gymnasium on Thursday. Pictured, from left, are seniors Julie Wisnoski, Lauren Caton, Angelea Caton, Kelsey Eaton, Lauren Coats and Erica Lewandowski. (Photo by Annie Sanders, JVHS)

Eaton will be part of an effort to take the University of Illinois Wheelchair Athletic Program to the next level.  The University of Illinois has been a pioneer in the establishment of collegiate wheelchair sports conferences.

Thanks for letting me digress from this blog’s usual focus on emergency management to let you know about this nice story about Kaitlyn Eaton!



One response

6 03 2012
Mark Ulrich

Jeff – Thanks for applauding UIUC in their support of a Houston-area girl to attend our great school. I wasn’t aware of their wheelchair athlete program, but as another Illini I’m also very proud.

Incidentally, as Scholarship / Communications officer of the University of Illinois Alumni Club of Houston I would really love to see you join our club. You and your family would enjoy our many events, and sharing your forte of emergency preparedness amongst fellow alum would provide a real community service.

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