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The prospects of defending National Wheelchair Basketball League champions, the Wollongong Roller Hawks, have taken a step up with the return of home grown son, Shawn Russell.

Australia’s men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams have qualified for the 2018 World Cup with the men’s side, the Rollers, going undefeated to claim gold and the women’s team, the Gliders, bouncing back after a slow start to the tournament to claim silver.

The Wollongong Roller Hawks have been crowned NWBL Champions after a hard fought Gold Medal game against the Sydney Metro Blues, running out 79-70 winners.

The Roller Hawks’ goal this season has always been clear; to win the championship, even though the squad rarely verbalises it.

There are three teams standing in the way of the Wollongong Roller Hawks winning their first championship since 2012 and with all due respect to the Queensland Spinning Bullets - one of those teams is themselves.