The country’s finest athletes and aspiring Tokyo 2020 Paralympians will converge on the Illawarra (NSW) this weekend for Round One of the 2021 National Wheelchair Basketball League.
Tipping off on Friday afternoon, Shellharbour City Stadium will host seven games over three days, featuring four teams all vying for the title of National Champion 2021.
The Queensland Spinning Bullets, Perth Wheelcats, Spinners (Australian Under-23 squad) and the Wollongong Rollerhawks will be represented by some of the country’s best emerging and established wheelchair basketball players.
The Spinning Bullets will be spearheaded by Ella Sabljak, Matt McShane, Sammy White and Tom O’Neill-Thorne, while the hometown favourites, the Hawks have an impressive roster which includes Tristan Knowles, Luke Pople, Shawn Russell, Hannah Dodd and Brett Stibners. With the ever dangerous Wheelcats led by Shawn Norris, Phil Evans, Michael Auprince and Jannik Blair.
Australian Gliders and Rollers head coach Craig Friday said this year’s National Wheelchair Basketball League will also serve as important preparation for the rescheduled Tokyo 2020 Paralympics (24 August – 5 September).
“I know everyone involved can’t wait for the National Wheelchair Basketball League to start this weekend,” said Friday.
“While players were able to train and compete to varying degrees at a state level of the past 18 months, the national league will pit the country’s best against each other in a condensed six week regular season.
“With the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics fast-approaching, the national league will provide the opportunity for squad members to put their hand up for future honours. While the Australian Under-23 squad will get invaluable court-time as they also prepare for international tournaments scheduled later this year.
“This is going to be an exciting and hotly contested season and I encourage everyone to get along to Shellharbour City Stadium this weekend to see elite basketball played by some of the best in the world,” concluded Friday.
Due to the current lockdown in Victoria and the location of athletes, the Sydney Metro Blue Hornets will not be able to participate in Round One, with their season to commence from Round Two.
The 2021 National Wheelchair Basketball League regular season will be contested as cluster rounds over four weekends in Shellharbour, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane. Darwin will host the entire Finals Series from 16 – 18 July.
2021 National Wheelchair Basketball League – Round One – Shellharbour City Stadium
|Match Date||Match Day||Time AEST||Team 1||Team 2|
|28 May||Friday||7:30pm||Rollerhawks||Spinning Bullets|
|29 May||Saturday||10:00am||Wheelcats||Spinning Bullets|
|29 May||Saturday||5:00pm||Spinning Bullets||Spinners|
|30 May||Sunday||9:00am||Spinning Bullets||Spinners|