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Ready to roll: Wheelchair basketballer off to first Paralympics

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Basketball player Jeremy Tyndall is just weeks away from his debut in the Paralympics in Tokyo and says watching Australians in action now is getting him excited for his turn on the court. 

“Especially when I watch the basketball … I’ll be [thinking], I’ll be playing on that court in a couple of weeks,” Tyndall said.

Tyndall will be competing with the Australian Rollers in wheelchair basketball.

Growing up in the tiny town of Waaia, in northern Victoria, basketball wasn’t Tyndall’s sport of choice.

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“I rode the bikes and loved playing footy, I was actually the captain of the under-15s Murray Bushrangers,” he said.

But in 2012, Tyndall’s world changed when he crashed during a motorbike race and broke his back.

He was introduced to wheelchair basketball while he was recovering in in rehab. 

Tyndall said he “messed around” for a few years before he made the junior Victorian team in 2015, and he kept building his career from there.

‘I lost a bit of love for it’

Waaia’s Jeremy Tyndall is preparing to roll out with the Australian Rollers for his first Paralympics in Tokyo.(

Supplied

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Four years ago, Tyndall took a year off from the game and wasn’t sure if he would return to it.

“In 2017, I went over to a world championship for the under-23s Australian side, and it was a fair process building up to that,” he said.

“I lost a bit of love for it, I suppose.”

It was a call from the Rollers’ head coach, Craig Friday, that brought him back to the court.

“I just decided I might go back and give it a crack and ended up doing so, and it’s worked out pretty well,” he said.

Tyndall said it had not sunk in that he would be competing in his first Paralympic games in a few weeks’ time.

The Rollers are training in different states in the lead-up to the Paralympics due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Rollers will play their first game in the Paralympics on August 26. They came away with a bronze medal at the last world championships and Tyndall said they expect to match if not better their performance.

“We’re looking good. I think we’re definitely going there expecting nothing less than a medal.”

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