The Australian Rollers and Gliders wheelchair basketball teams have been finalised to compete at the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation’s (IWBF) World Championships next month in Dubai.
The tournament, which starts on June 9 involves 300 players representing 16 men’s and 12 women’s teams.
The Rollers will have five players making their debut at a World Championship, with Andrew Dewberry, Eithen Leard, Clarence McCarthy-Grogan, Frank Pinder and Shawn Russell named in the squad.
Joining them will be a host of experienced campaigners and Tokyo Paralympians including Tristan Knowles, Samuel White, Jannik Blair, Shaun Norris, Kim Robins, Bill Latham and Tom O’Neill-Thorne.
For the Gliders, eight of the 12-player squad will compete at a World Championship for the first time – Lucinda Bueti, Jess Cronje, Laura Davoli, Annabelle Dennis, Breanna Fisk, Maryanne Latu, Georgia Inglis and Isabel Martin. They will compete alongside well known Australian representatives Hannah Dodd, Amber Merritt, Georgia Munro-Cook and Sarah Vinci.
Gliders Head Coach Craig Campbell said: “We can’t wait to compete against the best in the world and see what we can produce. It’s exciting to see a number of players make their World Champs debut – it’s been a long time coming since the event was postponed last year.
“With that extra time we’ve been able to refine our preparation by undertaking camps at the AIS and playing more games against international teams in the lead up, which is always crucial to finalising structures and plans.
“We know we’re going up against opponents with a lot of experience so we’ll be making sure every single push is with intent and the Aussie spirit is as strong as you’d expect when pulling on that green and gold jersey.”
Rollers Head coach Craig Friday said: “We know it’s going to be a challenging tournament, all world events are, however we’d love to see the guys vie for a medal and push as hard as we can.
“The team has trained really hard in the lead up and we’ve got a balance of young guys coming up and experienced players who can also steady the ship when needed, so we’re hoping that mix will suit us well.
“Finishing within the top four overall will be a goal of all teams as the road to Paris begins to unfold – we want to make sure the Asia zone achieves a number of slots.”
The Gliders will face Group B opponents Brazil, Canada, Spain, China and Great Britain.
The Rollers, in Group A, will play Brazil, Italy and hosts UAE.
Rollers World Championship Team:
Jannik Blair, Andrew Dewberry, Tristan Knowles, Bill Latham, Eithen Leard, Clarence McCarthy-Grogan, Shaun Norris, Tom O’Neill-Thorne, Frank Pinder, Kim Robins, Shawn Russell, Samuel White
Coaches & Staff:
Craig Friday – Head Coach
Grant Mizens – Head Assistant
Brad Ness – Assistant Coach
Shane Furness – Technical Assistant
Gliders World Championship Team:
Lucinda Bueti, Jess Cronje, Laura Davoli, Annabelle Dennis, Hannah Dodd, Breanna Fisk, Georgia Inglis, Maryanne Latu, Isabel Martin, Amber Merritt, Georgia Munro-Cook, Sarah Vinci
Coaches & Staff:
Craig Campbell – Head Coach
Tina McKenzie – Head Assistant
Lauren Robinson – Assistant Coach
Warren Brown – Technical Assistant
By: Basketball Australia and David Sygall, Paralympics Australia
Posted: 26 May 2023