Hawks Finish Day 1 in the Dawg Pound with a 2-2 Record

Nebraska bballDay 1 at the Midwest Regional Tournament had the BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks playing 4 of their 6 games. The Junior Hawks started the day with an 11:30 am matched up against Jr. Sioux Falls Wheelers (ND).  Although the two teams have never played, the Wheelers were in the middle of the competition at the 2013 National Championship.  The Jr. Hawks (#19) lost to their arch rivals, Lakeshore Lakers (#17), in the semi-finals of the NIT tournament which resulted in Lakeshore playing the Wheelers (#18) in the championship game.  Lakeshore wins by one point.

The Jr. Hawks started strong applying a full-court press from the opening tip. The Hawks forced 16 first half turnovers and outscored the Wheelers 40 to 10, led by Josh Joines and Treyvon Smith  who had 20 and 10 first half points respectively.  The second half was more of the same and the Hawks rolled to a 60-31 win, Josh Joines finished with 30, Treyvon Smith had 14 and Samuel Armas scored 8. Chance Boyd, Brent O’Grady, Brian Powell and Luke Hutchinson all added 2 points.

The Jr. Hawks second game was immediately following the win over the Sioux Falls Wheelers and was against unranked Tulsa Jammers.  Tulsa did not attend the 2013 National Tournament and like the Wheelers, this would be the first time playing the Jr. Hawks.  The Hawks stayed with what had worked in Game 1 and used the full-court press to stay close to the Jammers and led 25-24 at the half behind 12 points from Josh Joines and 7 points from Samuel Armas.  The Hawks pulled ahead early in the second half an kept an 8-10 point lead to finish with a 56-46 win over the Tulsa squad.  Treyvon Smith led the Hawks with 18, while both Josh Joines and Samuel Armas scored 16.  Bryan Powell added 4 points and Brent O’Grady added 2 points.

Game 3 on Day 1` was the first really test for the Jr. Hawks seven man squad.  Timberwolves (#4) are one of the predominant wheelchair basketball programs in the country.  Their offensive strength combined with their overall experienced was too much for the younger Hawks.  Timberwolves win 63-30. 

Day 1 ended with a 7:00 pm game against #6 ranked Dallas Jr Mavericks.  The Hawks worked hard in their second back-to-back game against a top 10 team, but lost 66-31 to a stronger and somewhat unsportsmanlike team.  The Mavs spent most of the second half leading by 20, but decided not to play their younger bench players. Instead they kept their stronger starters in for the entire game in some unnecessary attempt run up the score.

The Jr. Hawks finished Day 1 with a 2-2 recoded and have two more games on Day 2, back to back games against Nebraska and Utah. Follow the Hawks progress here, on Twitter of Facebook as they fight their way through the Dawg Pound. 

Posted in News, Programs, Wheelchair Basketball |

Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks travel to the Dawg Pound

Midwest logo

BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks travel to Omaha, Nebraska for the 2014 Midwest Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, or as it is affectionately referred to by the locals – The Throw Down in the Dawg  Pound.  The Hawks will play 6 games in two days including 3 games against top 10 ranked teams in the country.  The Hawks will be represented by a partial Varsity squad of 7 players:

  • Samuel Armas #2        Villa Rica                                                                                                                      
  • Joshua Joines #11        Kennesaw                                                                                                                    
  • Treyvon Smith #14      Athens                                                                                                                                
  • Chance Boyd #15          Atlanta                                                                                                                                
  • Brent O’Grady #23       Marietta                                                                                                                             
  • Bryan Powell #25          Marietta                                                                                                                             
  • Luke Hutchinson #43   Marietta


Their schedule includes:

Saturday, Feb 8

  • 11:30 am v Sioux Falls (ND) #18    
  • 1:00 pm v Tulsa (OK) not in top 32
  • 4:30 pm v Timberwolves (MN) #4
  • 7:00 pm v Dallas (TX) #6    

Sunday, Feb 9   

  • 8:30 am v Nebraska #2  
  • 10:00 am v Utah not in top 32

The Hawks finished 19th last year and  hope to improve their national ranking to be able to play in the top 16 at this year’s National Championships. 

Follow the Hawks progress here, on Twitter of Facebook as they fight their way through the Dawg Pound.                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Posted in Blog, News, Programs, Wheelchair Basketball |

BlazeSports’ Hawks hit the road

BlazeSports Hawks Travel to Whitewater as #9 in the country

BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Varsity Team travel to frigid Whitewater Wisconsin to compete in the Midwest Junior Regional Tournament.  A tournament that included 6 of the top 10 Varsity teams in the country. The National Wheelchair Basketball Association posted the first 2015 rankings.  The top ten teams include the following teams.  The teams in red are in Whitewater this weekend battling to improve their mid-season rankings.10929968_10152639028418181_5499850147143928380_n

1 Houston TIRR Hotwheels
2 Courage Center Jr. Timberwolves
3 Milwaukee Heat
4 Seattle Jr. Sonics
5 Dallas Jr. Mavericks – White
6 Grand Rapid Jr. Pacers
7 Utah Rush
8 Turnstone Flyers
9 Atlanta Jr. Wheelchair Hawks
10 Nebraska Red Dawgs

The Hawks #9 ranking is their best mid-season ranking in Hawks (Blazer) history. The Hawks play Utah (#7), Milwaukee (#3) and Turnstone (IN) (#8) on Saturday. Sunday’s games will depend on Saturday results.

Day 1: Midwest Junior Regional Tournament

With early morning temperatures in the single digits, BlazeSports’ Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Varsity Team arrived on the campus of the University of Wisconsin Whitewater for a 12:00 match up against 7th ranked Utah Rush.  

The Hawks started off strong on the offensive side while playing some of the best defense of the year. They led 33-16 at the half behind 20 points from Josh Joines and 6 points from Samuel Armas and 4 points from Treyvon Smith.  The Hawks defense held Utah to 34% shooting.  The momentum continued through the second half.  Head Coach Jason Joines commented “ it was the best basketball we have ever played.” Josh Joines finished with 28 points followed by Sam Armas, KJ Reese and Brent O’Grady with 8 points, Treyvon Smith with 6 points and Jordan Kolowski with 2 points.  Hawks win 62-33.

Playing 4-5 games in a two day weekend tournament has it challenges. The Hawks came off a great first game and had to face #3 Milwaukee Heat in a back-to-back game.  Momentum is a great thing and the Hawks used it and had a great start in game 2.  The Hawks defense held to Heat to 36% shooting while the Hawks shot 46% to build a 25-16 first half lead.

The Heat changed their defense in the second half and the Hawks had trouble getting their shots. Foul trouble in the second half also took away the Hawk’s first half momentum.  Starting point guard, Brent O’Grady fouled out while the Hawks second starting guard, Treyvon Smith saw limited second half action due to 4 fouls.  The Hawks stayed close to end, but lose 44-38. Josh Joines and Treyvon Smith each scored 10 points. Jordon Kolowski added 8 points while Samuel Armas score 3, and Brent O’Grady and KJ Reese both scored 2 points. Although it was a close and  disappointing loss, on the positive side the Hawks held the #3 team in the country to only 16 first half points and a total of 44 points.10615437_10152639028058181_6655893711578710288_n

The Hawks finished a long day with a 6:00 pm game against the #8 ranked team Turnstone Flyers (IN). The afternoon break gave the Hawks time to regroup and prepare for Game 3.  The break was the perfect cure for the Hawks shooting slump in the second half of Game 2. The Hawks scored a season high 42 first half points with 8 of the 9 players on the scoreboard.  Treyvon Smith’s 14 points, Josh Joines 8 points and Brent O’Grady’s 8 points led the offensive charge.  The Hawks defense was back in fine form holding Turnstone to only 15 points. Hawks lead 42-15 at the half.

The second half allowed the Hawks to rest their starters and give some playing time to the bench. Josh Joines led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Treyvon Smith with 17 and Brent O’Grady with 14. Samuel Armas scored 8. Jordon Kolowski added 4 points while Cameron Elzey and Luke Hutchinson each added 2 points. KJ Reese rounded out the scoring with 1 point. Hawks win 71-43.

The tournament format has the Hawks playing two games on Sunday.  The Hawk’s first game will be a rematch against the Turnstone and the final game against #10 Nebraska.


Posted in Featured, News, Wheelchair Basketball |

Hawks Compete in Music City Madness

blaze-5 BryanBoth Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Teams were in action this weekend against tough competition.


Check out all the action and match reports from Music City Madness in Nashville, TN.


Tournament Intro 

Hawks Compete in the Music City Madness


Day 1 Friday February 14th

Hawks Undefeated in Day 1 of Music City Madness


Day 2 Saturday February 15th 

Prep Wins Music City Madness Tournament, Varsity Advance to Semi-Finals


Day 3 Sunday February 16th 

Hawks Finish Third in Music City Madness

blaze-4 Brent2










Thanks to Andrew Hinze for photography





Posted in Featured, News, Wheelchair Basketball |

Junior Wheelchair Hawks Win Double Honors

2013 Jr WC Hawks Logo


The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks open their 2013-14 season at the Winter Classic Wheelchair Basketball Tournament at the Talbert Recreation Center in Mooresville, North Carolina on November 2-3.  Hosted by the Charlotte Rollin Bobcats, the Abilities Unlimited of the Carolinas and Bridge II Sports, this tournament is the first of four tournaments before the April 2014 National Championships in Louisville.

The Junior W/C Hawks will have both a Prep Team (ages 8-12) and a Varsity Team (ages 13-19) competing in this tournament.  The Junior W/C Hawks’ game schedule for the tournament is:

Saturday, November 2:

8:30: Junior W/C Hawks Prep 28 vs. 10 Jr. Thunder (NC)

10:00: Junior W/C Hawks Varsity 56 vs. 15 Lakeshore (AL)

11:30:  Junior W/C Hawks Varsity 41 vs. 15 Jr. Thunder (NC)

2:00 Junior W/C Hawks Prep 20 vs. 2 Lakeshore (AL)

4:00 Junior W/C Hawks Varsity 55 vs. 11 Music City Thunder (TN)


Sunday, November 3:

8:30: Junior W/C Hawks Prep 26 vs. 2 Charlotte Bobcats

9:30: Junior W/C Hawks Prep 18 vs. 10 Mississippi WheelCats

11:30: Junior W/C Hawks Varsity 41 vs. 19 Music City Thunder (TN)


Junior Wheelchair Hawks Perfect in Season Opener

For the second season in a row the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks opened their season with perfect first day at the North Carolina Winter Classic. The Junior Wheelchair Hawks’ Prep team started the tournament with a 28 – 10 win over the Jr. Thunder (NC). Collin Lancaster led all scorers with 10 points followed by Eric Francis, Taevan Grant and Cameron Elzey each with 6 points.


2013-14 Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep Team

Second year players Zachary Armas and Cade Maynor both played tremendous defensive.  Rookies Michael Kitchens and John Joiner played in their first NWBA prep game and also played great defense.


On the Varsity side of the tournament the Junior Wheelchair Hawks opened their tournament with a convincing win over their local rival, the Lakeshore Lakers (AL). Josh Joines led all scored with 28 points, while three Hawks, Samuel Armas, Treyvon Smith and Ben Baxter each added 8 points. Luke Hutchinson rounded out the Hawks’ scoring with 4 points. Brent O’Grady, Bryan Powell and Chance Boyd helped lead the team’s exceptional defense and the Hawks win 56-15.

The Varsity squad played back-to-back games facing the Junior Thunder (NC). The continued their impressive defense, while getting 10 0f 11 players on the offensive score sheet. Josh Joines led the Hawks with 8 points, while Treyvon Smith scored 7 and Samuel Armas scored 6. Makayla Jones, Ben Baxter and Chance Boyd each scored 4 points while Bryan Powell, Luke Hutchinson and Polina Glukhova each scored 2 points.  Rookies Makayla Jones and Polina Glukhova score their first ever points in a NWBA game.  Hawks win 41-15.



2013-14 Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Varsity Team


 Junior Wheelchair Hawks Win Double Honors

The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks were a perfect 8 for 8 at the 2013 North Carolina Winter Classic winning both the Varsity and Prep divisions. The Junior Wheelchair Hawks’ Prep team had back-to-back games on Sunday. Their first opponents were the host team, the Charlotte Rollin Bobcats.  Collin Lancaster led all scorers with 10 points followed by Eric Francis with 8, Cameron Elzey with 4 points and Taevan Grant and John Joiner each with 2 points. Hawks win 26-2.

In their second game of the day, the Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep team faced the newly formed Mississippi Wheelcats. The Wheelcats proved to be the Hawks toughest competition of the weekend.  The Hawks continued with their trademark tenacious defense led by Cameron Elzy holding the Wheelcats to only 2 points at half time. Hawks got 8 points from rookie Eric Francis and veteran Collin Lancaster, with 2 points from Cameron Elzy to win 18-10. Rookies Michael Kitchen and John Joiner played well in their first tournament, while second year players Cade Manor and Zachery Armas rotated turns as the 5th starter.

Colin and Cameron

Cameron Elzy (left) All-Tournament Team and Collin Lancaster (right) MVP for the Winter Classic Prep Tournament.

With four straight wins, the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks Prep Team won their second consecutive Winter Classic Championship. In addition to the Championship honors, Cameron Elzy was selected to the All-Tournament Team and Collin Lancaster was named MVP for the Winter Classic Prep Tournament.

The Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks’ Varsity Team earned a spot in Sunday’s Championship games with three wins on Saturday.  Their opponent was determined by the Lakeshore (AL) vs Music City (TN) game earlier Sunday morning. Music City squeezed out a close win and would face the Hawks for the second time in the tournament.  Defense was the key to the first win (55-11) over Music City and the Hawks proved once again to be up to the task. The Hawks started strong behind 12 points from Josh Joines and 7 points from Samuel Armas and led 31-0 at half time.  The Hawks defense allowed for all 11 players to play and the Hawks got additional scoring from Chance Boyd (6), Treyvon Smith (4), Luke Hutchinson (4), Ben Baxter (4), Bryan Powell (2) and Brent O’Grady (2). Rookie players Makayla Jones, Paulina Glukhova and Austin Davis played great minutes in their first tournament.  Hawks win 41-19.

Joshua Joines and Treyvon Smith

Josh Joines (left) Varsity All-Tournament Team and Treyvon Smith (right) MVP for the Varsity tournament

Josh Joines was selected to the Varsity All-Tournament Team and Treyvon Smith was named MVP for the Varsity tournament. 

For more information about the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks basketball program contact Jeff Jones:  jjones@blazesports.org.

Posted in Featured, News, Programs, Wheelchair Basketball |

2013-2014 Wheelchair Basketball Season Underway

There is still time to join the back-to-back National Champion Georgia Balzers Wheelchair Basketball program.  No experience is needed, just an interest in trying out a great sport!

For information contact Gillian Sharp or Jeff Jones at 404-270-2000.


Atlanta Jr WC Hawks Come and Try Flyer

Download Atlanta Jr WC Hawks Come and Try Flyer

Posted in Featured, News, Wheelchair Basketball |

Change Has Come

The July issue of Sports ‘N Spokes magazine features an excellent article, Change Has Come,  highlighting the growth and development of wheelchair basketball.  Written by two NWBA Hall of Famers, Dr. Bob Szyman and Tip Thiboutot, the article discusses the origins and progression of the NWBA from the late 1940’s on the Galesburg campus of the University of Illinois where the first National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NWBT) was held to the 65th NWBT held in Louisville, KY April 18-21, 2013.

In addition to some great history, the article includes some great images from the game including the Atlanta Junior Wheelchair Hawks, the 2012-2013 NWBA Prep National Champions.

Jr Hawks


 To learn more about Sports’N Spokes or to subscribe, click HERE.



Posted in Featured, News, Wheelchair Basketball |