Fruita Monument graduate earns spot on Paralympic USA Team – The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel

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PHOTOS SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL
Josie DeHart, right, is shown competing in Germany in wheelchair basketball. She graduated in 2018 from Fruita Monument High School and recently made the final cut on the 2022 Toyota Team USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team.
Josie DeHart, left, hugs her coach, Christina Schwab, who is in her first year as head coach of the USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team.
PHOTOS SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL
Josie DeHart trains one week every month at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Josie DeHart, wearing jersey No. 15, takes a shot during practice.

PHOTOS SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL
Josie DeHart trains one week every month at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
Josie DeHart, a 2018 Fruita Monument High School graduate, was one of 12 individuals to make the final cut on the 2022 Toyota Team USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team.
The final selections were made at the conclusion of the 2022 Toyota Team USA Women’s Selection Camp hosted June 9 to 11 at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
“It’s been one of my dreams since I first started playing wheelchair basketball,” DeHart said. “I’m very grateful to have been chosen. I’ve been working very hard, and my hard work has finally paid off.”
The 12-person team will attend the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) America’s Cup from July 9 to 19 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
This will serve as a qualifier for the IWBF World Championships scheduled Nov. 16-27 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Josie DeHart, wearing jersey No. 15, takes a shot during practice.
Although many families have sibling rivalries, it appears this family has sibling admiration for their older sister Josie.
“She has been my biggest inspiration,” 18-year-old Ellie said. “I know how much pressure she’s been under, but she hasn’t given up. She’s finally made the big shot team. I love playing basketball with her and love being part of her journey as much as I can.”
Josie’s 20-year-old brother Jack said, “I’ve been impressed with everything she’s done. She’s in the Olympics!”
Born with a disability known as arthrogryposis, Josie initially had a hard time finding her way.
“It was harder for me to find my confidence because I didn’t know many people in wheelchairs,” she said. “When I found wheelchair basketball, I realized I wasn’t the only one with a disability.”
Josie DeHart, left, hugs her coach, Christina Schwab, who is in her first year as head coach of the USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team.
Her proud dad Jimmy said he taught his daughter how to shoot a basketball, to which she says, “Dad made me competitive.”
Josie said her mother, Nina, signed her up for an ALL-Adaptive Sports Camp in California when she was 12.
“That’s when I fell in love with basketball,” Josie DeHart said.
She then attended basketball camp at the University of Arlington where she met coach Christina Schwab, who encouraged her to join her first basketball team, the Denver Junior Rolling Nuggets.
“The coach (Christina Schwab) for that team was the coach for me in college and, now this is her first year being head coach for the Women’s USA Basketball Team,” DeHart said.
She is grateful to have had her coach along with her throughout her basketball journey.
“I got very lucky,” she said. “She’s (Coach Schwab) has been a huge part of my basketball career.”
Although she was heartbroken when she didn’t make the 2017 Olympic team, DeHart persevered with her optimistic outlook and began playing for the ING Frankfort Sky Wheelers, a coed wheelchair basketball team in Germany.
“Playing for them made me ready for the USA team,” she says.
Her mother Nina is excited by her daughter’s accomplishments. “We’re definitely all very proud of her,” she said. “She’s been playing in Germany professionally. She’s been going to the University of Wisconsin in Whitewater, and we’ve been able to watch her play there.”
Jimmy DeHart boasts that Josie’s boyfriend, Dylan Fischbach, is “the best men’s wheelchair basketball player,” so perhaps the family may have more than one Olympian to cheer for in the future.
But for now, Josie DeHart, the only one on this year’s USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team from Colorado says, “It’s a huge honor to represent my country.”
PHOTOS SPECIAL TO THE SENTINEL
Josie DeHart, right, is shown competing in Germany in wheelchair basketball. She graduated in 2018 from Fruita Monument High School and recently made the final cut on the 2022 Toyota Team USA Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team.
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