Aust team goal getting closer
GYMPIE wheelchair basketball star Steven Elliott has a clear goal – to play for Australia.
It seems a lofty ambition for a 15-year-old kid who has only been in a wheelchair for under two years and who has only been playing wheelchair basketball for a year and a half.
But after returning from the Kevin Coombs Cup under-20 National Wheelchair Basketball Titles in Sydney, his goal is getting closer to reality.
“We got to train with the Australian Rollers (the national team) coach for two days and then there was three days of competition,” Elliott said.
“The coach said to me if I can work on my shooting a little bit more and can get that better, he might get me to train with the Australian under-23 squad.”
Buoyed by that news, Elliott was able to lead his Queensland team to third place in the titles, beating Tasmania twice and Victoria once.
“We did pretty well because we had the youngest team in the comp,” Elliott said.
“I did pretty well, I think – I don’t really get daunted playing against older people because every Thursday I train with the Spinning Bullets in Brisbane.
“There are two paralympians who I train with, so I have experience playing the older, better players.
“That is the only way you can improve.”
It has been a rapid rise through the ranks for Elliott, who was an athletic young sportsman, who two years ago was struck down with transverse myelitis (TM).
TM is a neurological syndrome caused by inflammation of the spinal cord and has left Elliott without feeling in the lower part of his body and he may be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
To his great credit, Elliott has not let this get him down.
“This is only my second year in the chair,” Elliott said.
“I am getting used to it.
“When it comes to basketball, chair control and shooting for the first few months was hard, but I’m starting to get the hang of it.”