Quick Facts

Physical Impairment – Right below-knee limb loss
Wheelchair Basketball
How acquired
Boating accident
Date of Birth
November 24, 1974
Fremantle, WA
Athlete and restaurateur
Started Competing
First Competed for Australia
Games Experience

Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016


Syd Jackson and Darryl Kickett

Career Highlights

Winning gold at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing

Greatest Moment

Representing Australia


A towering presence in Australian wheelchair basketball, five-time Paralympian Brad Ness is one of few Para-athletes to be able to compete for a living.

Prior to becoming a wheelchair basketballer, Brad excelled in able-bodied swimming, tennis, hurdling and Aussie Rules, but a boating accident at 18 as a deckhand aboard a high-speed ferry changed the course of his life forever.

“We were preparing to leave the pier when the skipper thought he heard me calling ‘all clear’, but the rope I was attending was still attached to the quayside. When the ferry moved out, the rope tightened and sliced off my right ankle as neatly as a chef chopping through a carrot,” he explains.

Not long after, Paralympic legend Bill Mather-Brown began encouraging Brad to give wheelchair basketball a try, after spotting him in the West Australian playing Aussie Rules using a prosthetic leg.

Fremantle local Brad debuted for WA later that year, and played his first game for Australia in 1999 at the Roosevelt Cup in Georgia, USA.

In 2000 he was awarded a sporting scholarship by the University of Texas before enjoying a stint in the Italian Series A-League, and in 2007 he was named the International Wheelchair Basketball Player of the Year.

Following their second place finish in Athens, Brad captained the Rollers to a 12-point victory over long-time adversary Canada to win gold at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

At London 2012 the former world champion enjoyed an unbeaten run to the finals to win silver, but at Rio 2016 the Rollers delivered conceivably their worst performance in over a decade, crashing out of the quarter finals in a 23-point loss to Great Britain.

Post-London, Brad’s Paralympic medals were stolen in a home invasion, which were later replaced by the International Paralympic Committee in collaboration with the APC.

While based in Italy Brad established basketball teams in Cantu and Rome for kids with disabilities, and is currently involved with the Outback Academy and home club the Red Dust Heelers to promote social inclusion and create opportunities for Indigenous Australians in sport.

On top of his wheelchair basketball career, Brad manages a pizzeria, Magna Pizza in Fremantle with his wife, and in his spare time he enjoys playing water sports at the beach.

Sports & Disciplines

  • Sport: Wheelchair Basketball Classification: 4.5