SEASON PREVIEW: ADELAIDE THUNDER
Last Year: N/A
Roster: Trevor Jarrett, Alex Azevedo, Adam Roocke, Beau Buckley, Richard Davis, Michael Hooke, Hassan Sedky, Phil Stephens, Will Crooks, Jay Dohnt.
The Thunder’s return to the NWBL will begin on Friday night in Round 1 when they take on the Red Dust Heelers. Their first home game will not occur until Round 3 but they have a nice lead in to what they will be hoping is a finals series as they play their last three games at Port Adelaide Recreation Centre.
Led by David Gould who was named the Australian Gliders head coach earlier this year, expect to see the Thunder well-drilled on the court and you can also expect that they will be one of the most improved sides by the end of the season. Adam Roocke is an experienced player who has been the state captain and led the push for the Thunder back into the NWBL as they raised funds via breaking the world record for the longest game of wheelchair basketball ever played. Others such as Alex Azevedo and Beau Buckley have previous NWBL experience while Buckley was invited to the most recent Rollers camp. It will be interesting to see how debutants such as Trevor Jarrett, Chris Harvey and Nathan Simpson fare but after working so hard off court to return to the league, the Thunder may be playing on emotion at the start of the year which should serve them well.
One To Watch:
Jay Dohnt. Alongside fellow Aussie CJ McCarthy-Grogan, Dohnt won the National Wheelchair Basketball Association Intercollegiate Championship Tournament earlier this year as a member of the UT Arlington Movin' Mavs. He was an improved scorer as the season wore on, increasing his ability to finish at the rim while his defensive skills will also be critical to the Thunder’s chances in 2017. Expect Dohnt to be fired up when he faces his old side, the Sydney Metro Blues as well.