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This weekend, members of our Women's National Team will travel to their fourth training camp together. This new High Performance team has a lot of fresh faces on it after London, but one veteran who returns to lead the team to success is Jenn Poist. Learn about Jenn below:
Name: Jenn Poist
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Current Team (other than USA): Team Captain of the University of Arizona Women’s team
How many years have you been playing?
JP: 10 years - 4 years in juniors with the Bennett Blazers and 6 years at the University of Arizona
What number do you wear and why?
JP: I wear #35 for U of A – it was the number given to me when I started playing in juniors and I’ve kept it ever since. I wear #13 with the USA team, it was the only number available when I made the team but I like the number and plan to keep it!
Any superstitions when you play?
JP: No superstitions and no pregame ritual – I try to not over think games before they happen
What was your first experience with wheelchair basketball? How and why did you start playing?
JP: I was introduced to wheelchair basketball at a sports camp for children with disabilities at the age of 9, the counselors at the camp encouraged me to seek out a juniors team and pursue playing in college. When I was 13 I began playing basketball and sled hockey with the Bennett Blazer’s juniors program.
What is your favorite part about the sport and playing?
JP: My favorite part about playing is being a member of a team and meeting people from all over the world. Playing basketball has also given me the opportunity to travel all over the country and world!
JP: My favorite memory was winning gold with the U25 Women’s team. We had a lot of fun as a team and accomplished our goal of winning the first U25 women’s world championship!
What does the sport of wheelchair basketball, particularly in the U.S., need most?
JP: Support – wheelchair basketball in this country is not as well known or supported financially like it is in other countries. NBC’s announcement of increased coverage of the Sochi and Rio Paralympics games is a big step in the right direction and hopefully will expose more people to Paralympic sports.
What is it like playing for your country?
JP: Playing for my country has been a dream of mine since I started playing wheelchair basketball. It’s a ton of work but every time you put on a USA jersey or hear your national anthem played it’s worth it!
You competed in London in 2012. What has been the biggest change for you with a new team in the wake of your first Paralympic Games?
JP: I am one of four players returning from the London 2012 team – this team is much younger than last years with a lot of new players on the roster. I was the only rookie on the London team and quickly had to transition to being a veteran and leader on the team this year.
What person in your life inspires you the most? Any role models or mentors?
JP: My mom - she made so many sacrifices for me, including giving up her weekends to drive me to practice while I was in high school!
As a basketball player I always looked up to Steph Wheeler and Christina Schwab (Ripp) – they were both great players and had huge success while on the national team!
Question from Men’s Team USA member, Chris Kommer: What is your favorite international trip that you have taken with Team USA?
JP: London – between Opening and Closing ceremonies, the Olympic village, and competition facilities there are plenty of memories to last a lifetime! Opening ceremonies was incredible – we had to wait outside for hours and hours but once inside the Olympic Stadium the crowd and atmosphere was amazing!
Pose a question for our next member of Team USA:
JP: Who is your favorite USA player (past or present) and why?
Check back later to learn more about our Men's and Women's Team USA members.