Alberta’s Own Arinn “Juice” Young: A Trailblazer in Wheelchair Basketball

The previously postponed 2022 IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships, originally scheduled for November 2022, are now set to take place on June 9th to June 20th, 2023 in Dubai. As the event draws closer, we want to highlight one of the exceptional athletes representing Team Canada in Dubai: Arinn Young.

Young’s story began after multiple injuries to her knees and hips from able-bodied sports. However, a family friend introduced her to wheelchair basketball, and she quickly fell in love with the sport. Young began playing wheelchair basketball around 2011-2012, and she knew from her very first practice that she wanted to make Team Canada.

“I had my mind set to make Team Canada after the very first practice I played”

Young’s hard work and dedication paid off when she made her debut for Team Canada at the 2014 World Championships in Canada. Since then, she has been a key player on the team for nine and a half years straight, with an impressive list of accomplishments to her name.

As Young and Team Canada gear up for the World Championships in Dubai, she exudes confidence in her team’s abilities. “Our team is incredibly talented and driven, and I hope everything falls into place for us,” she says. This will be her third World Championship, and she remains a key player on the team, as well as the only female Athlete from Alberta. When asked about this, Young expressed, “I take a lot of pride in it and try to represent the province as best as I can, which is showing how tough we are.”

Young’s accomplishments extend beyond the court as well. She earned a full scholarship to play wheelchair basketball at the University of Alabama, where she won three national championships and earned her bachelor’s degree. She is currently playing professional wheelchair basketball abroad in Europe for the Rhine River Rhinos of Wiesbaden in Germany.

“I have been one of the only females from Canada playing in Europe and I always let everyone know where I am from, true Albertan.”

Young’s coach, Darrell Nordell who has been with her for many years, shared some insights into her growth and development as a player. He revealed that he was the one who gave her the nickname “Juice” after she drank some juice offered by the tournament host group and went on to hit multiple shots in a row. From that point on, Arinn Young was known as JUICE.

Nordell also shared his thoughts on her journey as a player; Young was referred to Alberta Northern Lights / Edmonton Inferno by Max McMillan, whose daughters played wheelchair basketball in their clubs. He could tell from their first meeting that she had the right skills to be a good wheelchair basketball athlete. Despite being a stand-up player, Young’s basketball experience showed, and she was a real good shooter, hitting shots no matter where she was on the offensive side of the court. Learning to push the chair and dribble was a challenge, but she did not back down and improved quickly. Her coach said, “Arinn is a coach’s athlete and a pleasure to work with. She will challenge you at times, but it is because she wants to see success and will work harder than anyone else.”

“Arinn’s success comes mostly from herself with her drive and determination to continue to improve.”

When asked about what he hopes to see from Young in the future, Nordell said that he hopes she continues to play as long as she wants to be an athlete, gets a Paralympic Gold Medal, and one day settles down back in Alberta and starts to coach their next Edmonton Inferno Women team.

We are honored to have Young represent Alberta on the world stage, and we wish her and Team Canada the best of luck in the upcoming championships. Don’t forget to cheer on Team Canada! Click the link below to live stream on YouTube!

Leave a Reply