James MacSorley

James was recently called into the Great Britain B team for the International Wheelchair Basketball Challenge which took place at the Antrim Forum from 7th-9th Feb 2012.

This tournament was run by Disability Sports Northern Ireland in partnership with British Wheelchair Basketball and Sport Northern Ireland. The other participating teams were GB A,ItalyandPolandwho have all qualified for the London 2012 Paralympics and this tournament was part of their preparation for the 2012 games.

James had previously only played club basketball for the Knights WBC with whom he has been a player for the past ten years.  He had always shown great potential but even he was surprised when he received the fortuitous call up to the GB B team after another player pulled out at the last minute.

 

James recognised this as a wonderful opportunity, if only to experience the preparations top level elite players go through in big games as he fully expected not to feature very much on the court.

This was not to be the case however; even though James watched the first game from the bench he was to make his debut onto the International stage very soon.

He played a few minutes in the second game for GB B and looked very comfortable up against some of the very best players in the world, he was playing with and against athletes who had been to many World Championships and Paralypmic games and he didn’t seem out of place at all.

The GB coaching staff sat up and started to think maybe this young kid can play at this level and decided to give him more playing time in the next games and James just went on to prove them right, not only did he hold his own but he excelled, playing with confidence and skill.

After the tournament the GB coaches said they were very pleasantly surprised at how good James performed on court and these are just a few quotes from them:

Murray Treseder, GB Head Coach, ‘Prior to the tournament I was unsure if James would have been able to handle it at this level but im no longer unsure, we brought him in to let him gain experience and now im really glad we did, he will definitely feature again for GB‘

Haj Bhania, GB U22 Coach, ‘I had my team for the U22 European Championships pretty much picked but now im going to have to revise it to include James after the way he played’.

There were many more accolades for James from his teammates, one of whom is going to his 6th Paralympic games at London 2012. Everyone was united in praise for how well he conducted himself on and off the court and he will definitely be a world beater in the not too distant future.