SMSU ATHLETICS: Former SMSU wheelchair basketball standout Josh Turek named to 2021 USA Paralympic Team
MARSHALL — Former Southwest Minnesota State University wheelchair basketball standout Josh Turek was named on Saturday to the 2021 USA Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team that will compete at the Paralympics in Tokyo starting on Aug. 24 through Sept. 5.
The 12-player roster announced by the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA), governing body for the sport in the United States, features eight athletes who were on the gold medal-winning team at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016. Another 11 were part of the team that won gold at the 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru. The roster announcement comes at the conclusion of a three-day Toyota Team USA Men’s Selection Camp at the University of Texas-Arlington.
This is the fourth time Turek has been selected to play for Team USA in the Paralympics. He was a member of the 2004 team that placed seventh in Athens and was a member of the 2012 team that took home bronze at the London games. Turek reached the ultimate goal in 2016 helping Team USA capture the gold medal in Rio de Janeiro.
The gold medal in 2016 was the eighth for Team USA and its first since 1988. Turek scored six points in the gold medal game victory over Spain.
Turek returned to play for Team USA on the 2019 Parapan American Games team opted to go for one more Paralympic medal in 2021.
“We were very pleased with how competitive this year’s selection was. Without having the chance to train together in over a year and a half we picked up where we left off,” said U.S. head coach Ron Lykins in an NWBA news release. “The twelve athletes selected give us plenty of veteran leadership that should help us have success in Tokyo. We are very excited to work with this team.”
The 42-year-old native of Council Bluffs, Iowa, Turek attended SMSU from 1997 to 2002 and left the wheelchair basketball program as the most prolific scorer in team history. The 2002 SMSU Male Student-Athlete of the Year, Turek finished his career scoring 4,024 points and grabbing 1,213 rebounds. He was a four-time team MVP, four-time All-American and three-year team captain. He holds school single-season records in field goals made and points, along with holding single-game records for points scored, 3-point field goals made and free throws made.
As a senior in 2001-02, he led SMSU to a 27-10 record and was named MVP of the NWBA Region Tournament.
Turek has played professionally in Europe for more than 15 years.
— Content courtesy
of SMSU Athletic