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Two of the biggest contributors to Australian wheelchair basketball in the modern era will lead the Australian Rollers at Paris 2024, as they seek to get back on the podium after a 12-year absence. 

Tristan Knowles and Shaun Norris were both confirmed for their sixth Paralympic Games at a team announcement in Melbourne, hosted by Australian Paralympic Team Deputy Chef de Mission Bridie Kean.  

The team includes six players making their Games debut, bookended by the experienced Jannik Blair, Bill Latham and Tom O’Neill-Thorne. Sam White returns for his second Games. 

“Whether you are going off to your first Paralympics or going to your sixth, it’s an incredible feeling to know you’re about to represent your country,” captain Knowles said. 

“I’m really excited to know I’ve got 11 guys beside me that have been on their own journey and have their own story. I’m incredibly humbled to be a part of it for my sixth time and we going to be giving it everything we’ve got.” 

Despite the high number of debutants, Knowles has a lot of confidence in the players selected. 

“We have six first timers but that doesn’t mean we’re inexperienced,” he said.  

“There is so much experience in this team. There are guys who have been excelling at the top level for a long time, mixed with the young guys coming in who know how to get the job done. 

“I think our brand of basketball right now can achieve some really special things in Paris.” 

The Rollers have a proud history at the Paralympics. They have competed at every Games except in 1964 and captured gold for the first time in Atlanta in 1996. 

Current coach Brad Ness was joined by youngsters Norris and Knowles for the 2004 campaign, where the team won silver, before they won Australia’s second gold medal in the flagship sport at Beijing 2008. The silver medal at London 2012 was the Rollers’ most recent Paralympic medal success. 

You have to love what you do and clearly Shaun and I love this game and love turning up day after day, trying to find ways to improve ourselves,” Knowles said. 

“We were part of the 2004 team that came agonisingly close to coming away with a gold medal when we won silver. But that was the start for us, it ignited a fire inside us to be the best we could and it’s been a hell of a fire, because here we are about to go to our sixth Games and we haven’t wanted success more than we do right now.” 


The Australian Rollers squad for Paris 2024 

Sam White 

Frank Pinder  

Jannik Blair 

Eithen Leard 

Phil Evans 

Luke Pople  

Shaun Norris  

Tom O’Neill-Thorne  

Bill Latham  

Tristan Knowles  

Jaylen Brown  

Tom McHugh  


By David Sygall, Paralympics Australia.

Published 6 July, 2024.