Sports Envoy
Sports Envoy Program

Peter Hughes

Wheelchair Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2024  –  Saudi Arabia

Mr. Peter Hughes has a long career in athletics as a coach and administrator, as well as nonprofit, sales, and fund development. Since 2017, he has served as Director of Adaptive Athletics at the University of Arizona. UArizona’s Adaptive Athletics program is the largest program of its kind and has produced 40+ Paralympians. As director, he supervises a large professional staff and cultivates relationships with donors who support program operations, as well as other community contacts to increase awareness of wheelchair and adaptive sport. During his tenure as director, Mr. Hughes he has tripled the number of enrolled student athletes and has committed to financially supporting each one because he believes sport is an important inroad to higher education and supports employability, areas in which disabled people are sorely underrepresented.

Mr. Hughes has coached various sports from YMCA to NCAA, and athletes of all ages with and without disabilities. As UArizona’s wheelchair track coach, he coached four Paralympian track athletes, including a gold medal winner. As UArizona’s women’s wheelchair basketball coach, he led the team to four straight national title games and won two titles.

In service to the international disability community, Mr. Hughes established UArizona as a site for the Global Sports Mentoring Program and hosts one or more international delegations of disabled athletes or coaches annually. Mr. Hughes founded the non-profit organization Wheelchair Athletes Worldwide (WAW) that donates sports wheelchairs and holds wheelchair sports camps in developing countries that do not have access to such equipment or coaching. WAW has donated over 50 wheelchairs in four different countries and is set to do another donation in Uganda in 2023.

Mr. Hughes earned a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education, with a teaching credential in Physical Education and specialist teaching credential in Adapted Physical Education from San Diego State University, and a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis on sport and exercise psychology from the University of Western Australia.

Darlene Hunter

Wheelchair Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2024  –  Saudi Arabia

Dr. Darlene Hunter has a long career in athletics as a three-time Paralympic athlete in women’s wheelchair basketball. Dr. Hunter was on the USA National Team from 2010-2016 and 2019-2021; winning a gold medal in 2016 and a bronze medal in 2020. In addition, she has helped to establish the intercollegiate women’s wheelchair basketball program at both The University of Arizona and The University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to playing women’s wheelchair basketball, Dr. Hunter was an elite track athlete. She acquired a spinal cord injury at the age of four which resulted in her being a paraplegic; paralyzed from the waist down.

Dr. Hunter was the CEO of the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) (2022-2023) expanding wheelchair basketball opportunities throughout the United States. Prior to taking on the CEO position with the NWBA, Dr. Hunter was the chair of the women’s division within the NWBA for 10 years, as well as the athlete representative of wheelchair basketball for The United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. She helped to increase the number of women’s teams within the division from six teams to the current sixteen teams.

In service to the disabled community, Dr. Hunter established a women’s wheelchair basketball camp at The University of Texas at Arlington. It is the only women’s camp in the US that is free to attend. The purpose of the camp was to establish a place where women can come together in sport, but to build a support system, practice independence and be mentored by other women in the sport. We wanted women to see others in the workplace, have a family, and experience life on a university campus. In addition, Dr. Hunter holds board positions at several other adaptive sports non-profits creating sport opportunities for those with physical disabilities. In 2017, Dr. Hunter was named as Toyota’s Everyday Hero for her work to broaden and grow the game in women’s sports.

Dr. Hunter earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a double minor in political science and special education from the University of Arizona. In addition, two master’s degrees in public health and social work from The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and a Ph.D. in Family Studies from Texas Woman’s University (TWU). Dr. Hunter is a licensed master’s social worker and is a professor teaching disability and social work at UTA.

Carlie Cook

Wheelchair Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2016  –  Algeria
  • 2016  –  Morocco

Carlie Cook is a former basketball player at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the Women’s Wheelchair Basketball team, who has most recently played for the Connecticut Spokebenders. She has competed at the national championship and was an alternate for the 2011 U25 USA team.

Parnes Cartwright

Wheelchair Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Russia

Parnes Cartwright was the head coach as well as the executive director for the Miami Heat Wheel’s wheelchair basketball team. He played a crucial role in the documentary “The Rebound” in which he explains how he got involved in wheelchair basketball and Miami Heat Wheels.

Trooper Johnson

Wheelchair Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2015  –  Russia
  • 2016  –  Algeria
  • 2016  –  Morocco
  • 2018  –  Kuwait

Coach Johnson is a legendary NWBA member, showcase in the iconic symbol of the NWBA, as a NWBA Hall of Famer and Paralympian. As an athlete, Johnson is the only U.S. player to compete on 15 National Teams (1990-2004), and is widely acknowledged as the most prolific three-point shooter in NWBA history. His shooting accuracy led Team USA to the top of the medal platform for a total of nine gold medals and one silver medal. He also has two bronze medals as an athlete at the 1996 and 2000 Paralympic Games, and was a member of the 1992 and 2004 U.S. Paralympic teams.

Professionally, Johnson is the Sports Program Coordinator for the Bay Area Outreach and Recreation Program in California, which includes being the head coach of the Junior Road Warriors Wheelchair Basketball Team. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Northern California Olympians & Paralympians. Johnson first found the sport of wheelchair basketball after being involved in a car accident at the age of 17 that left him paralyzed. After that, wheelchair basketball was all he knew. Coach Johnson resides in San Lorenzo, California. He and his wife, Megan, have a son Max, and triplets, Hank, Sam and Sophia.

Dr. Andrea Woodson-Smith

Wheelchair Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2013  –  China
  • 2015  –  Papua New Guinea
  • 2015  –  Australia
  • 2018  –  Botswana

Dr. Andrea Woodson-Smith is a full professor at North Carolina Central University specializing in adapted physical activity and sports and physical education pedagogy. She earned her PhD from Texas Woman’s University specializing in adapted physical education, MS from North Carolina Central University specializing in adapted physical education and a BS from James Madison University, Kinesiology where she also competed as a Division I women’s basketball athlete.

She received an invite to try out for the American Basketball League (ABL) and also tried out for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). She was a volunteer assistant women’s basketball coach for Texas Woman’s University and an Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach for Moraine Valley Community College in Palos Hills, IL, an assistant varsity girls’ basketball coach and JV volleyball coach for East Chapel Hill High School and JV volleyball coach and assistant varsity volleyball coach for Waynesboro High School.

She participated in the 2003 and 2011 ParaPan American Games, 2006 and 2010 and 2012 U.S Paralympic team. She has also participated as the Vice Chair of the Women’s Division, Chair of the Youth Development Committee of the Women’s Division, Committee member of the High Performance Committee and currently member of the ADM and High Performance Committees and serves as a Sports Envoy for the U.S. Department of State.

During her spare time, she is an advocate for colon cancer, children’s cancer and equality for all girls and women in sports and a 7th grade girls Life Group Leader for New Hope Church

Rose Hollermann

Wheelchair Basketball

Served as envoy

  • 2018  –  Botswana

Paralympic Experience:
Two-time Paralympian (2012, 2016); One-time medalist (1 gold)
Paralympic Games Rio 2016 , gold
Paralympic Games London 2012, 4th
World Championship Experience
Most recent: 2018 – 6th
Years of competition: 2018

Personal: In 2001, Hollermann and her family were involved in a car accident that took the lives of two of her brothers and caused her to be partially paralyzed from the waist down. As part of her rehabilitation, she was introduced to swimming at the Courage Center in Minneapolis. From there, she tried sled hockey, track and field, archery, cross-country skiing and wheelchair basketball. She discovered her talent and passion for wheelchair basketball. In 2011, she became one of the youngest players on the U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team at age 15. Since then, she has excelled in her career, playing collegiate basketball at the University of Texas at Arlington and leading Team USA to Paralympic gold in 2016….Daughter of John and Michelle Hollermann…Has three brothers: Shane, Ethan, and Seth Hollermann…Hobbies include fishing, hunting, basketball, sled hockey, photography, listening to music.