In 1948, Dr. Tim Nugent organized the National Wheelchair Basketball Association. The sport was introduced in VA hospitals for injured veterans returning from WWII. Charlotte’s history began with the Carolina Tarwheels in 1970. During the ’80s, the team added more players and formed another team called the Carolina Cyclones. To reflect NBA ties, in 1990, the program became the Charlotte Wheelchair Hornets who later captured their first National Championship in 1996. Charlotte dominated in 1998 with National Championships by Division II, Division III, and the Junior Division. In 1999, Division III added a back-to-back title. In 2003, we renamed the team the Charlotte Rollin’ Bobcats. In 2014, we rebranded again, back to the Rollin’ Hornets!
The Rollin’ Hornets continue to have national success and consistently finish the season ranked within the top ten. In 2008, the Junior’s JV team finished in 2nd place at the National Tournament only to return the next year and win the 2009 National Championship. In 2018, the Rollin’ Hornets were once again National Champs, this time at the Prep Division level. 2022 was a banner year for the Rollin’ Hornets as all 5 teams finished the regular season ranked in the top 4 in the Nation, and 4 of those teams earned their way to the National Championship games. Our Division II and Varsity teams were crowned National Champions, our Division III team was National Runner-up for the 2nd year in a row, and our Prep team was also the National Runner-up. The women’s team finished 5th in the Nation in 2022. The Rollin’ Hornets have sent 23 athletes to college to play wheelchair basketball and 3 went to college on track scholarships. We’ve had 9 players and 4 coaches on USA national teams, including 2 on the USA team rosters in Toyko in 2021. Excelling on the court is fun, but excelling in the classroom is a huge priority for our program. 58 times, Rollin’ Hornets have received National recognition for academic achievements.
When & Where will I see the Rollin’ Hornets?
Throughout the regular season, the Rollin’ Hornets often provide half-time entertainment throughout the Carolinas, including NBA Charlotte Hornets home games, UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke, Wake Forest, Wingate, Davidson, NC State, and UNC Charlotte’s home basketball games. Additionally, we do community awareness events for schools, fraternities, and boy/girl scouts.