Stibners, Taylor selected for Paralympics

Wollongong Roller Hawks Brett Stibners and Nick Taylor have been selected in Australia’s Rollers team for the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

Stibners and Taylor were in the Roller Hawks team which won the 2012 National Wheelchair Basketball League championship.

Tristan Knowles also is in the Rollers team for the London Paralympic Games.

Knowles played in the Roller Hawks team which won the 2011 NWBL title but did not play for them this season because he was playing in Europe.

Stibners, Taylor and Knowles are in the 12-strong national squad, which is one of the most experienced ever fielded in the sport at a Paralympic Games.

The women’s Australian Gliders team also was named in Perth yesterday.

Australia has won six medals in wheelchair basketball at the Paralympic Games – two gold, three silver and one bronze – since it was introduced to the Games in Rome in 1960. Of the six medals, the Rollers have won two gold and a silver, while the Gliders have won two silvers and a bronze.

The Rollers are ranked No1 in the world after winning the Paralympic gold medal in Beijing in 2008 and the 2010 world championships.

Western Australia’s Brad Ness will again captain the side during what will be his fourth Paralympics.

It will be a tough assignment for the Rollers, who face the United States, South Africa, Turkey, Spain and Italy in the pool.

‘‘We’re ready. The last four years, we’ve been preparing ourselves for this moment and when you look at the work we’ve done – every player has had game time, gym time, on-court time – we’re just ready to get in there and do battle,’’ Australian Rollers head coach Ben Ettridge said.