NWBL REPRESENTED BY ALL 12 ROLLERS ATHLETES HEADED TO RIO
In recognition of the NWBL and the development opportunities it provides to all athletes, every member of the Australian Rollers team named for the 2016 Rio Paralympics participated in the 2016 season.
While they did not reach the playoffs this season, the RSL Queensland Spinning Bullets feature the most members with Bill Latham, Tom O’Neill-Thorne, Matt McShane and Tige Simmons named.
With a silver and gold medal under his belt, Simmons will be headed to his third Paralympics while Latham will be aiming to go one better than the 2012 campaign when Australia fell to Canada in the final.
O’Neill-Thorne is the youngest member of the team at just 19 years of age and will be debuting at the Paralympics in Rio alongside McShane as they bulk up the Rollers back court.
From the 2016 Championship winning Kilsyth Cobras, Josh Allison, Tristan Knowles and Shawn Russell were named.
Knowles was awarded the High-Point MVP in the 2016 season, finishing third in the league for scoring with 27 points per game and second for assists with 10.9 while adding 6.3 rebounds.
He will be headed to his fourth Paralympic campaign with Allison and Russell set to debut in Rio.
The third team with at least three representatives is the Red Dust Heelers who will send Jannik Blair, Adam Deans and Brad Ness over to Brazil.
Ness will join rare company when he hits the court for a fifth Paralympics in his search for a fourth consecutive medal.
Blair, this year’s NWBL Low-Point MVP has made his second straight Paralympic team with Deans one of the five debutants in the Rollers side.
From the Wollongong Roller Hawks, Brett Stibners will feature in his third Paralympics after being named in the 2016 NWBL All-Star five with Shaun Norris of the Be Active Perth Wheelcats rounding out the team.
Norris averaged a triple-double this season, awarded the Mid-Point MVP with a ridiculous average of 31.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 11.3 assists.
The full schedule for the Rollers Paralympic games can be found here.