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Brett Stibners will use Australia’s premier junior wheelchair basketball tournament as a litmus test to see if a future in coaching beckons. 


The four time Paralympian, who announced his retirement from international basketball earlier this year, has been named as coach of the NSW side at next year’s Kevin Coombs Cup.


“I have a lot of playing experience and thought I should try and share that with the younger players coming through,” says Stibners.


The week-long tournament sees males aged 14 to 23 and females aged 14 to 25 combine to represent their state and will be held alongside the able-bodied Australian Under 18s Championships.


“This is the first time being involved with the juniors. I know a few names on the team list but that still needs to be confirmed before the trials next year.”


The tournament has been sidelined for the last two years due to COVID with Ballarat set to host from the 10th to 17th of April, 2022. 


Roller Hawks teammate Shawn Russell will be part of Stibners’ coaching staff as an assistant coach.


“I asked ‘Huss’ if he would like to give me a hand and I am grateful he said yes. I like the way he sees the game and how he communicates with all types of people.”


Trials for the NSW team will be at Penrith Valley Regional Sports Centre on the 22nd and 23rd January.


“The way we play and train will be dependent on the skill level of the players. I’m lucky we also have Gerry Hewson on board as an assistant coach. His experience will come in handy,” says Stibners.

The tournament is named in honour of wheelchair basketball pioneer Kevin Coombs. Coombs is Australia’s first indigenous Paralympian, playing wheelchair basketball at five Paralympic Games from 1960 to 1984 including as captain/coach at the ‘72 Games in Heidelberg.