Maurice “Mo” Phillips, Jr.

RIM Detroit Diehards Wheelchair Basketball Team
Head Coach
U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball
Former Head Coach Men’s Team

            Maurice “Mo” Phillips, Jr. is currently devoted, full-time to his position of head coach for the Detroit Diehards, and serving on the National Wheelchair Basketball Assoc (NWBA) Rules Committee. Prior to its dissolution in January 2004, Mo held a managerial position at Kids ‘R Us. His prior work experience also includes durable medical equipment sales/management and property management. Mo has been active in the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) for over 30 years—25 years as a player and in a coaching capacity since 1998.

At a grass roots level, Mo has been a mentor to many young players over the years, particularly those growing up in his home state of Michigan. Mo worked with Winners on Wheels, an organization to promote sports, education and activity, working directly with children with disabilities. He has worked with local physicians and physical therapists to promote the visibility and participation in wheelchair sports. Mo has been involved with Athletes Unlimited for 15 years, working collaboatively to promote disabled sports and to mentor and facilitate the development of young athletes. Mo also played an instrumental role in the administrative responsibilities (President and Vice President) of the Detroit Sparks Wheelchair Basketball Association, leading to the team’s re-emergence into the national tournament in 1989.

Mo has been involved with the U.S. Men’s Team since 1997 when he served on the US Team Selection Committee, and served in a coaching role for the U.S. Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball Men’s Team. . National and international awards and accomplishments include:

NWBA National Tournaments

  • Championship Teams (Player) 1977, 1979, 1982
  • Championship Teams (Coach) 1999, 2000
  • Named All American 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1990
  • Captain James S. Ure Sportsmanship Award 1978, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1988, 1990, 1994
  • Inducted into the NWBA Hall of Fame 1998
  • Inducted into the ADHOF Hall of Fame 2004


International Teams

  • Pan American Team 1982, Gold Medal
  • Paralympic Team 1984


Coaching Experience - NWBA

  • Head Coach Michigan Thunderbirds 1998
  • Head Coach Dallas Mavericks 1999 and 2000, winning the National Championship both years
  • Head Coach Detroit Diehards for the past 3 years.


Coaching Experience – International

  • Assistant Coach Pan American USA Men’s Team 1999, Gold Medal
  • Assistant Coach Paralympic USA Men’s Team 2000, Bronze Medal
  • Head Coach Pan American USA Men’s Team 2001, Silver Medal
  • Head Coach Gold Cup USA Men’s Team 2002, Gold Medal
  • Head Coach Pan American USA Men’s Team 2003, Silver Medal
  • Head Coach Paralympic USA Men’s Team 2004, 7Th Place
  • Assistant Coach Great Britain Team European Championships 2005, Silver Medal
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2.1.2017 Congratulations to John McSween of the Michigan Rolling Pistons, John just signed his letter of intent to attend the University of Illinois and continue his education and further his wheelchair basketball career. John has been part of The Michigan Rolling Pistons wheelchair basketball team for many years, Michigan Rolling Pistons is a co-ed, youth wheelchair basketball team providing opportunities for athletes ages 6-18 with physical disabilities to participate competitively in basketball. The athletes on this team are unable to participate in most local programs or school teams. Adaptive sports programs allow these athletes to experience the same benefits as their able-bodied peers. Our primary purpose is to provide more opportunity for boys and girls with physical disabilities to participate competitively in a sport. Our team motto is “No Limits.” The benefits of youth sports are well known. Through athletics, children gain increased selfconfidence and self-esteem, increased physical fitness and overall wellness. They also learn responsibility, and develop better communication and interpersonal relationships. Our athletes are unable to participate in most local programs or any of their school sports teams. Adaptive sports programs allow for these athletes to experience the same benefits as their able-bodied peers while also getting to meet and learn from others with the same abilities. It can be a difficult road keeping the teams up and running. With general overall health care costs, the additional costs of team sports and special equipment required to play can at times be a financial burden on families. That’s where Athletes Unlimited comes in to help support these teams and keep the programs running and growing throughout Southeast Michigan. Athletes Unlimited is a non-profit organization founded in 1996 by Jeff S. Pierce, DO, dedicated to providing social, recreational and athletic outlets to people with disabilities. Their guiding philosophy that life is not intended to be a spectator sport. Everyone, regardless of ability, can benefit from participating in sports. It continues to be Athletes Unlimited primary goal to provide these opportunities to as many physically challenged individuals as possible. We firmly believe that everyone should know that individuals with disabilities, regardless of their physical limitations, possess the same basic needs and desires as those without disabilities. Together we can strive to eliminate societal barriers that limit an individual’s potential to achieve. Join us in spreading the mission of helping disabled athletes, because life is not meant to be a spectator sport!