Mareike Adermann in Sydney, July 2012
|Born||3 August 1990|
|Coached by||Daniel T. Price|
|Achievements and titles|
|Paralympic finals||2012 Summer Paralympics|
Mareike Adermann (born 3 August 1990) is a 4.5 point wheelchair basketball player, who plays for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the United States. She has also played for the German national team, with which she won two European titles, was runner-up at 2010 World Championships, and won a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. President Joachim Gauck awarded the team Germany's highest sporting honour, the Silbernes Lorbeerblatt (Silver Laurel Leaf).
Adermann began playing basketball at the age of seven, and made her debut at the women's regional championships in Germany when she was 14. In that first game, she suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Over the next four years, she underwent knee surgery four times, three in the right knee, and once in the left, leaving her knees scarred. On each occasion she took eight months to recover, and ruptured an anterior cruciate ligament within weeks of returning to playing.
At the age of 18, Adermann was forced to give up her dream of playing basketball. However, a physical education teacher suggested that she try wheelchair basketball, a sport she had never heard of. Although she is a wheelchair basketball player, Adermann does not require a wheelchair for everyday activities, and is classified as a 4.5 point player, the lowest level of disability. Being able to move her body fully gives the 180 centimetres (71 in) tall center a height advantage, but she found that shooting from the free throw line in a chair requires as much force as shooting standing from the three-point line.
|“||One of the greatest pleasures of life is doing the things that others say you can not do.||”|
When Adermann took up wheelchair basketball in 2008, she was not thinking of making the national team, but with hard work and daily practice, she made it in just one year. She was captain of the German Under 25 (U25) National team, competing at their first ever World Championships. In 2009, she began attending University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the United States, where she studied business administration—particularly sports administration and coaching—with the idea of one day becoming a coach. She found the workload much higher than in Germany. Whereas most German clubs trained only two of three times a week, training in the United States was every day, with weight and training rooms available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. While in Germany, she trained with the second division team Essen Rolling Bears, also travelled twice a week to Cologne to train with the 99ers.
She also played for ASV Bonn in the German regional league. In March 2012, her UWW Warhawks team, coached by Daniel T. Price, defeated the University of Alabama 63-34 to win the US Intercollegiate National Championships in a game in which Aderman scored 17 points and had 13 rebounds. Later that year, Team USA, which coached the Warhawks' Price and including Warhawks Sarah Binsfeld, Desiree Miller and Becca Murray, headed for Charlotte, North Carolina for a last training camp before the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London. Meanwhile, Adermann played with the Germany team in Australia in July, and then to the Netherlands.
In the Gold Medal match in London, the team faced the Australia women's national wheelchair basketball team, who had defeated them 48–46 in Sydney just a few months before, in front of a capacity crowd of over 12,000 at the North Greenwich Arena. The German team had been undefeated up to that point, but had started off slow in its games against the United States and China, winning these games by six-point margins, and seemed to play its best basketball only in the final minutes of a game. Adermann scored 19 points, more than any other player in the match, and was a key factor in Germany winning 58-44. "Most of my shots weren’t even any crazy shots or any outside shots,” Adermann said. "They were the same shots I took in the others games, but I played more in this game, and I had many more easy opportunities getting into the paint." "I’m always one of the shooters, but I think Australia underestimated me and didn’t defend me as well as some of the other girls. They left me open a lot and I got some big shots, so it went well for me. It just worked out that I scored the most points in the final, but it wasn’t deliberate."
It was the first gold medal that Germany had won in women's wheelchair basketball at the Paralympics since 1984. They were awarded the Silver Laurel Leaf by President Joachim Gauck in November 2012, and were named Team of the Year for 2012. "Many times, I was told that after winning a gold medal, I have achieved the most I can, so I could quit now," Adermann later wrote, "But I disagree."
- 2009: Gold at the European Championships 
- 2009: Silver at German Women's National Championships 
- 2010: Silver at the Women's World Championships 
- 2010: Bronze at the U22 mixed European Championships 
- 2010: Gold at German Women's National Championships 
- 2011: Silver at German Women's National Championships 
- 2011: Gold at the European Championships (Nazareth, Israel) 
- 2012: Silver at German Women's National Championships 
- 2012: Gold at the Paralympic Games (London, England) 
- 2013: Silver European Championships (Frankfurt, Germany) 
- 2014: Silver at the World Championships (Toronto, Canada) 
|Sydney July 2012|
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