Lake area to host world championships

The Lake Norman region expects to reap a half-million dollars in visitor spending when 250 of the world's elite wheelchair basketball athletes compete locally Aug. 7-14 in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association's International Tournament of Champions.

The event, secured by Visit Lake Norman, also is expected to generate 900 hotel room-nights, said Travis Dancy, Visit Lake Norman's sports marketing manager. The agency helped organizers of the championship tournament secure host hotels in Cornelius and Huntersville.

Teams will hold training camps in the area as early as July 31, Dancy said.

The U.S. men's team, along with teams from Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Japan, look to unseat Australia, the 2010 world champion.

The U.S. women will defend their titles of world champions and Paralympics champions against Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Japan.

The games will be web broadcast to about 15,000 people worldwide on NWBA U-TV, at

Tournament games will be played at Bailey Middle and J.V. Washam Elementary schools in Cornelius and at Barnette Elementary, Hopewell High, Huntersville Elementary, Lake Norman Charter Middle and Lake Norman Charter High schools in Huntersville.

Additional gyms in Cornelius and Davidson are also being considered, Dancy said.

Visit Lake Norman worked in partnership with the Cornelius and Huntersville parks and recreation departments and Hopewell High to secure facilities for the event.

"The NWBA, with its International Tournament of Champions wheelchair basketball tournament, has been totally embraced with great Southern hospitality by Visit Lake Norman and the Cornelius and Huntersville parks and recreation departments," NWBA President Dick Bryant said in announcing the tournament's plans.

The NWBA was founded in 1948 by World War II veterans after many came home with disabilities. Today, the NWBA consists of men's, women's, intercollegiate and youth teams in the U.S. and Canada. The NWBA has at least 200 basketball teams across 22 conferences and seven divisions.

For tournament details contact Dancy at 704-987-3300 or