The Roller Hawks’ Nick Scott will continue his rise through the basketball ranks when he flies out to Bangkok, Thailand on Saturday as part of the Men’s Under 23 Australian wheelchair basketball team.
The Spinners will be competing in the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation’s (IWBF) Asia Oceania Qualifiers (AOZ Qualifiers) from Monday, January 23rd to Saturday, January 28th where three teams will advance to the World Championships to be held in Canada in June.
Australia will play in a round robin against China, India, Iran, Japan and Thailand. The top four will progress to the semi finals. The winner of each semi final will qualify for the World Championships as will the winner of the play-off between the two losing semi finalists.
For Scott it will be his second taste of international basketball after competing with the team in Japan at the Kitakyushu Cup last November.
“We went to Japan, came back with a bronze, which was pretty good” says Scott.
“At the start it was weird because no one knew how each other played but as the games progressed we sort of kicked and played well as a team.”
That cohesion will need to serve the team well as they seek a World Championship berth.
When asked how it feels to to represent Australia again, Scott says,
“It feels good. I can't believe it's come so quick.”
Scott is in his second year with the Roller Hawks having graduated from the club’s development team at the beginning of 2015.
king the next step into basketball. I have improved a lot with the help of the boys,” says Scott.
Scott credits the knowledge his teammates have passed down to him for the progress he made last year as well as the increase in intensity both during games and at training.
Three time Paralympian and Roller Hawks captain Brett Stibners says Scott has made tremendous progress since joining the senior squad.
“He's improved rapidly. He's only been with the team 12 months.”
“He’s got this opportunity with the junior Aussie team. They went to a tournament last year, played really well and they're very impressed with him.”
Stibners says as a young athlete, playing for his country won't faze Scott.
“He probably doesn't really know what it means at the moment but once he goes and plays at the World Cup he will, and he will learn quickly.
“When you're young it's exciting and you never really get daunted that much because of that excitement.”
“He'll do really well. He's got a good head on his shoulders and plays team basketball really well.”
Australian Men’s U23 Schedule
Monday 23rd Jan: Australia vs India
Tuesday 24th Jan: Australia vs I.R. Iran
Wednesday 25th Jan: Australia vs Thailand
Thursday 26th Jan: Australia vs China
Friday 27th Jan: Semi-Finals
Saturday 28th Jan: Finals