Wheelin' Jazz


Wheelin' Jazz

The Wheelin' Jazz represent the Utah Jazz as a member of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA), competing as a nationally ranked team in the Championship Division. The team began in the early 1980s and is currently comprised of 16 team members, who play in tournaments around the country. The Wheelin' Jazz are a non-profit organization that provides physical, social, and emotional therapy to individuals with a physical disability through participation in high-level athletic competition. They have produced three men's Paralympic athletes, including a gold medalist, and four men's national team players.


Tournament Schedule

Date Location Result
January 6-8 Las Vegas, Nevada -
January 27-29 Phoenix, Arizona -
February 17-19 Dallas, Texas / San Diego, California -
March 10-12 Las Vegas, Nevada -
March 29 – April 2nd Louisville, Kentucky (this is the NWBA National Championships) -

Team Bios

Jeff Griffin

  • Position: Guard / Forward/Center/Coach
  • Number: 10
  • Biggest infuence in your life: My Mom and Dad
  • Most memorable sports-related moment: Going to the 2004 Athens Greece Paralympics. or maybe, chasing a ball out of bounds on the sideline with clock winding down and saving it out of bounds and throwing ball behind my head without looking at the rim and having it go in for a three!
  • What is your pregame ritual? Pray and Dedicate my game to the Lord.
  • What do you like to do when you aren't playing b-ball? Travel the World
  • What is your daytime job? Motivational Speaker/Author
  • Favorite Jazz Player: Karl Malone. Coach Layden compared me to him as well!
  • Favorite Food: Chicken Marsalla
  • Favorite Book: Les Miserables
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Bear Lake/San Diego/Valencia Spain

Jeff Townsend

  • Position: Forward
  • Number: 45
  • Biggest infuence in your life: My family because of the support they have been to me throughout my basketball career.
  • Most memorable sports-related moment: Winning an Australian National Championship with the West Sydney Razorbacks in 2004.
  • What is your pregame ritual? I don't have a pregame ritual.
  • What do you like to do when you aren't playing b-ball? Travel, play with my kids, play golf.
  • What is your daytime job? I teach part time at Clemson University and I also have two young children (3 year old daughter and 10 month old son) that I care for full time.
  • Favorite Jazz Player: John Stockton
  • Favorite Food: Chicken Parmesan
  • Favorite Book: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court by John Wooden
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: St. Thomas, USVI

Brian Allen

  • Position: Guard
  • Number: 15
  • Biggest infuence in your life: Father
  • Most memorable sports-related moment: Scoring the game winning goal (soccer) to beat the Layton Strikers for the first time.
  • What is your pregame ritual? Shake it out. Pour a little water on my head. Use a towel to clean off my tires. Game time!
  • What do you like to do when you aren't playing b-ball? Love spending time with the family, and if they aren't around unwinding in front of the TV to whatever sports are on.
  • What is your daytime job? Business Manager, Heritage Motor Company of Tremonton, a Ford, Lincoln, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram dealership.
  • Favorite Jazz Player: Retired: Karl Malone. I had the opportunity to meet him while I was in the hospital back in 1999. Current Derrick Favors and Gordon Hayward.
  • Favorite Food: Mom's cooking, don't tell my wife! Italian.
  • Favorite Book: White Fang. I think I wrote a book report each year (3) of Junior High.
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Home. I am most comfortable and happy at home. I always need a vacation from the vacation when I get home.

Darrell Mauerman

  • Position: Forward
  • Number: 42
  • Biggest infuence in your life: My Dad
  • Most memorable sports-related moment: Having only 5 players Vs Phoenix Suns. One of our players was ejected from the game and we still beat them with only 4 players by a 20 pt spread.
  • What is your pregame ritual? Get strapped into the chair and get shoulders warmed up.
  • What do you like to do when you aren't playing b-ball? Watch movies.
  • What is your daytime job? Founding Partner of Forge Jewelry Works in Provo Utah.
  • Favorite Jazz Player: Stockton to Malone was my favorite Combo. Right now I like to watch Gordon Hayward.
  • Favorite Food: Pizza
  • Favorite Book: Unbroken
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Seattle, we have lots of family there and have a good time every summer.

Jason Hokanson

  • Position: Guard
  • Number: 5
  • Biggest infuence in your life: My Father
  • Most memorable sports-related moment: "John Stockton sends the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals!"
  • What is your pregame ritual? Lay-ups and Spot shots
  • What do you like to do when you aren't playing b-ball? Ski
  • What is your daytime job? Paper Pusher
  • Favorite Jazz Player: John Stockton
  • Favorite Food: Pizza
  • Favorite Book: The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Lake Powell

Mike Schlappi

  • Position: Point Guard
  • Number: 12
  • Biggest infuence in your life: In basketball, my father, he was a high school coach. In life, my Mother and Wife - of course.
  • Most memorable sports-related moment: Competing and earning Medals in 4 Paralympic Games (wheelchair basketball). Being a Board Member and helping organize the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
  • What is your pregame ritual? Take advil, Stretch, tape up, and get my mind ready to go.
  • What do you like to do when you aren't playing b-ball? I love walking our dog, playing chess, and hanging out with my family. We have 5 kids.
  • What is your daytime job? I am a professional motivational speaker.
  • Favorite Jazz Player: Ever – John Stockton. Now, Rudy Gobert.
  • Favorite Food: Sloppy Joes and Chips
  • Favorite Book: The one I wrote. SHOT HAPPENS
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Banff Canada or anywhere warm.

Rodney Niemann

  • Position: Guard / Forward
  • Number: 23
  • Biggest infuence in your life: My Wife
  • Most memorable sports-related moment: The day I scored 35 points which was more than half of the teams score.
  • What is your pregame ritual? Get nice and loose stretching. Then I have to have a piece of chewing gum.
  • What do you like to do when you aren't playing b-ball? Spend time with my family outdoors.
  • What is your daytime job? Project Manager / Estimator
  • Favorite Jazz Player: John Stockton / Current - Rodney Hood
  • Favorite Food: Roast, mashed potatoes, carrots, smothered in gravy
  • Favorite Book: Fearless, The BOM
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Hawaii

Aaron Summerill

  • Position: Forward
  • Number: 2
  • Biggest infuence in your life: God, and my Father Stanley
  • Most memorable sports-related moment: Just playing and practicing it seems like there is always something really cool that happens that just makes you scratch your head and go WOW!!!
  • What is your pregame ritual? Listen to music with a good beat that gets me pumped up and makes me dance.
  • What do you like to do when you aren't playing b-ball? I Love you hang out with family, watch sports, go 4-wheeling, and just make people laugh.
  • What is your daytime job? I am a salesman for the best automotive software company ever, AutoPoint.
  • Favorite Jazz Player: Tie between Derrick Favors and Trey Burke
  • Favorite Food: Barbeque
  • Favorite Book: Pretty much anything James Patterson or John Grisham
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: I haven't really ever gone on a vacation, I'd like to try Australia