Gympie basketball star shooting for Paralympics
BASKETBALL: Gympie basketball star Steven Elliott has his eyes firmly on Australian representation after his Sunshine Coast Spinning Bullets side finished a respectable third at the recent Sunshine Coast Spinners wheelchair basketball tournament.
Competing in the top grade, Elliott, who will carry the Commonwealth Games Baton through Gympie in March, said the challenge of playing at the top level was sound preparation for his Australian representative duties.
"I've been playing in the premier grade and we've got some of the Paralympians and up-and-comers who are hoping to go to worlds this year so it's been crazy the amount of talent and some good games,” he said.
"This (Sunshine Coast Spinners) is probably one of the biggest tournaments in Australia.”
Feed the Heat (Brisbane) managed to claim top honours in the premier grade final after defeating Thundercats (Perth) 48-47.
That wasn't the only tight finish in the competition, with Dream Team winning A grade 26-19 against the Thomoz Tomahawks and Lismore getting the win in B grade after accounting for Suncoast Wheelies (A Suncoast Spinners Reverse Inclusion team) 18-17.
After a stellar 2017 season, Elliott is focused on higher duties and while he relished the opportunity to play in the Spinners tournament, his goal to attend the 2020 Paralympics remains an all-consuming focus.
"Training can only take you so far so these tournaments get you match ready and that's what you kind of want,” Elliott said.
Elliott, recently returned home from the under-23 world championships, said 2018 will be a decisive year on the court.
Australia finished third in the Paralympics precursor, and he said the experience will stand him in good stead come 2020.