Meet Wheelchair Basketball Player Courtney Ryan, Her Partner and Family

Elite wheelchair basketball player Courtney Ryan will compete for the United States in the next Paralympics in 2024. She has already competed for the United States in the 2020 Paralympics in Japan, where she took home the bronze.

She competed in the 2023 Parapan Am Games when the United States team won the gold medal and qualified for the 2024 Paralympics in Paris. After an injury suffered while playing football, she is paralyzed from the waist down.

USA women’s wheelchair basketball wins gold, qualifies for 2024 Paris Paralympics

The United States women’s wheelchair basketball team beat Canada in the final match. The final score was 62-56 in favor of the United States team. By winning this game, the United States team earned a spot to compete at the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games. Courtney Ryan scored 12 points and contributed 6 assists to help the United States defeat Canada.

“We secured our spot for Paris,” “We’re excited but the work isn’t over. This is just the beginning for Team USA.” 

Ryan said.

Courtney’s Family, Date of Birth, Siblings

Courtney Anne Ryan was born on September 21, 1990, in San Diego, California. Her parents are Kevin Ryan and Patti Ryan.

She has two siblings – a brother named Chris Ryan and a sister named Caitlin Ryan. Her father Kevin would dress up as “Metro Man” to support Courtney and her teammates at games in Denver.

He has also dressed as Uncle Sam for Courtney’s USA team games. Courtney’s sister Caitlin has been one of her biggest fans and supporters since she started playing wheelchair basketball. When Courtney began, Caitlin would look up different skills and drills on YouTube to help improve her game.

Courtney with her family Members
Image: Courtney with her family Members (Source: Ryan’s Instagram)

Courtney attended Coronado High School where she played all kinds of sports. The coach of the University of Arizona’s women’s wheelchair basketball team, Pete Hughes, saw Courtney make a game-winning buzzer-beater shot in a game.

After that game, he offered her a scholarship. Courtney joined the University of Arizona in the fall 2012. She studied special education with a focus on rehabilitation, planning to get a Master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling or disability studies.

Courtney’s hobbies are hand-cycling, watching movies, hiking, spending time with her dog, traveling with her spouse, and kayaking. Her other job is being an assistant coach for the University of Arizona’s women’s wheelchair basketball team.

How Courtney Ryan Became Injured

Courtney Ryan played just five games in 2010. In the fifth game against Colorado Mesa University on October 8, 2010, she was tackled from behind and fell on her back. A blood clot formed and burst, leaking into her spinal cord. This left her paralyzed from the waist down.

Also Read: Lindsey Zurbrugg, Everything you need to know about Wheelchair Basketballer

Right after the injury, Courtney began rehabilitation at Craig Hospital in Denver. After that, she moved back home to San Diego to work with the Challenged Athletes Foundation.

“It was very hard to hear that not only I would never play soccer again. but that I also lost the ability to walk.”

she tells

Ryan is a Lesbian and is happily married

Molly Bloom, Ryan’s former teammate at the University of Arizona, is his partner and fellow lesbian.

Courtney with her partner Molly Bloom in LGBTQ Parade
Image: Courtney with her partner Molly Bloom in LGBTQ Parade (Source: Ryan’s Instagram)

Courtney Ryan Changed of Passion Due to an accident

Courtney began playing soccer at the young age of four. She went on to play soccer in college. She attended Coronado High School and played soccer there. In 2007, as a junior, she was named Coronado’s Rookie of the Year.

The next year, in 2008, she made the all-section team and was the Most Valuable Player. She also made the first-team All-Western League.

In 2008, Courtney joined Metropolitan State University of Denver to play soccer for their team, the Roadrunners. As a freshman, she played 25 games, scoring one goal and getting seven assists. In 2009, she played 24 games as a defender. She was named first-team All-America and first-team All-Central Region. She set a school record for defenders with 15 assists that season.

Also See: Lindsey Zurbrugg, Everything you need to know about Wheelchair Basketballer

After being paralyzed in 2010, Courtney stayed at Metro for the 2011 spring semester. Then she returned to her home city of San Diego. She got involved with the Challenged Athletes Foundation and started playing wheelchair basketball.

After rehabilitation, Courtney was introduced to wheelchair basketball through the foundation’s mentor program. She fell in love with the sport. Since then, she has excelled playing wheelchair basketball for the University of Arizona, the US National Team, and a pro team in Australia. Courtney also founded the only women’s wheelchair basketball team in California.

How Courtney Ryan Found Her Passion In Wheelchair Basketball and Represented USA

During a tournament game, Ryan made a game-winning buzzer-beater shot. Hughes was impressed by Ryan’s attitude, ability, and performance. He wrote a letter recommending her to Stephanie Wheeler, the head coach of the USA national women’s wheelchair basketball team.

Two weeks later, Ryan was one of 30 players invited to try out for the national teams at tryouts in Birmingham, Alabama. In April, she was selected for the team, making her international debut by playing eight games against the German national team.

Ryan played with the national team at the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Toronto. The United States finished fourth.

In 2017, Ryan played for the Sydney Metro Blues in the Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League in Australia. The Blues went on to win the league championship.

Ryan kept playing the sport. She played professionally in Australia in 2017 and 2018. She also started a women’s team in her home state of California while becoming an assistant coach at Arizona in 2019.

In August 2019, Ryan became the assistant coach of the University of Arizona women’s wheelchair basketball team.

She is also the Co-founder of the Team PossAbilities Shield Maidens women’s wheelchair basketball team in Los Angeles, California.

Courtney Ryan was part of the Team USA wheelchair basketball squad at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, winning a bronze medal.

After the bronze in Tokyo, Ryan and Team USA won bronze again at the 2022 World Championships in Dubai.

In the 2023 Parapan Games, Team USA defeated Canada in the final to win gold, also securing their spot in the 2024 Paris Paralympics.

The USA national teams are training hard, aiming straight for the gold medal at the 2024 Paralympics in Paris.