U23's Australian Men's Wheelchair Basketball squad announced as World Championship preparation begins

U23's Australian Men's Wheelchair Basketball squad announced as World Championship preparation begins

Basketball Australia today announced the U23’s Men’s Wheelchair Basketball training squad that will assemble in Canberra next week to begin their campaign toward the 2013 U23’s World Championships in Turkey this September.

The squad of 17 – selected from the Australian Development Camp held at the AIS in Canberra in January – will assemble in the nation’s capital for a training camp from March 6-10.

At the conclusion of the camp, a team will be selected to compete in the Qualification Tournament for the Asia Oceania Zone in June in Thailand, to be ratified by the Board of Basketball Australia.

Basketball Australia Chief Executive Officer Kristina Keneally said next week’s camp was a great opportunity for Australia’s future Rollers to make their mark on men’s wheelchair basketball.

“The players attending next week’s training camp are the current cream of a solid High Performance Program that Basketball Australia has provided as a pipeline to the Australian Men’s senior team,” Ms Keneally said.

“To be selected into a World Championship training squad is something they should be immensely proud of and we wish them all the best as they begin their preparations for an important year ahead.”

Head coach Tom Kyle said that while all of the players selected have taken part in various camps and tournaments for the past two to three years, the aim of this camp was to start the countdown to selecting the 12 players Australia will take to the World Championships in September.

“At this stage, we haven’t decided if we will take a full squad of 12 to the qualifiers in Thailand in June, but the aim next week is to take a look at the combinations,” Coach Kyle said.

“In wheelchair basketball, unlike able bodied basketball, we have points limitations, which means we have to look at what we can put on the floor at any one time. *

“The point of this camp is to finalise our preferred combinations and then to select those players who best match the combinations we come up, with who we believe will put us in a position to ultimately secure a medal at the World Championships.”

A marquee member of the squad is 2013 Paralympian Jannik Blair. A starting member of the Australian Rollers Men’s senior team, Blair won a silver medal in London and will be returning for his second U23’s campaign after his debut at the World Championships in Paris in 2009 – where Australia finished fourth.

Australia’s current world ranking is fourth in U23’s Men’s Wheelchair Basketball.

The 2013 IWBF Men’s Under 23’s World Championships will be held from 12-22 September in Adana, Turkey.

The U23’s squad has five representatives from NSW, four from Queensland, three from Western Australia, two from Victoria and one representative from Tasmania, the ACT and the Northern Territory.

The U23’s Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Training Squad is:

Michael Auprince Peakhurst, NSW

Jordan Bartley Cleveland, Qld

Jannik Blair Horsham, Vic

Marcus Chiavelli Yarrambat, Vic

Steven Elliott Gympie, Qld

Bradley Fisher Kingston, Tas

Jake Fulwood Mooloolah, Qld

Clarence Grogan Greenwich, NSW

Kayl Jeffery Stratton, WA

Jake Kavanagh Ballajura, WA

Tim Mackrow Sutton, ACT

Joshua Meoli Mortdale, NSW

Ryan Morich Manning, WA

Bailey Rowland Brookwater, Qld

Keegan Oh-Chee Eastwood, NSW

Tom O’Neill-Thorne Darwin, NT

Luke Pople Dapto, NSW

Staff:

Tom Kyle, Head Coach – Holland Park, Qld

David Gould, Assistant Coach – Surrey Downs, SA

Sonia Healy, Assistant Coach – Corrimal East, NSW

Donna Ironmonger, Team Manager – Woodvale, WA

Ryan Campbell, Team Physio – Joondanna, WA

Click here for the Men’s Under 23’s Wheelchair Squad Player Profiles.

*Classification Explanation:

To play in state, national and international competitions, players are classified based on their functional ability from 1.0 to 4.5 points. The higher the number, the higher the functional ability. Each team is allowed to have 14 points on the court at any time.