COLUMBIA — Missouri wheelchair basketball coach Ron Lykins received the highest career honor a coach can earn.
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association announced in January that Lykins will coach the U.S. men's national wheelchair basketball team for the 2016 Paralympic Games. The games will be played in Rio de Janeiro.
The Missourian is counting down the most memorable moments in Columbia sports, honoring the top athletes and programs of 2013. The No. 1 moment will be revealed on Dec. 31.
“It’s a very exciting thing to be able to represent your country in sport," Lykins told the Missourian in February. "I don’t think there is a better job than that.”
Lykins has previous experience in coaching national teams; he coached the U.S. women's national wheelchair basketball team for 18 years. Under his leadership, the team finished fifth at the Paralympic Games in 2000 and won gold in 2004 and 2008.
Lykins started coaching at Missouri in 2009. Since then, the men's wheelchair basketball team has won three Mizzou Wheelchair Basketball Classics and twice finished fifth in the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament. Lykins will remain at Missouri while he coaches the men's national team.
Before Missouri, Lykins coached at the University of Kentucky and the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Lykins was a finalist for the United States Olympic Committee's Paralympic Coach of the Year in 2007 and was also nominated for the same award in 2004 and 2006.