Australian and Darwin-based wheelchair basketball superstars Clarence McCarthy-Grogan and Tom O’Neill-Thorne are hosting an exhibition match to showcase their sport and the Darwin Basketball Association (DBA).
The game, at the Darwin Basketball Stadium from 7pm on September 12, will include experienced players and those newer to the sport. They will be on Team Tom or Team CJ in what should be a competitive encounter.
The duo have both represented Australia, and O’Neill-Thorne participated in the 2016 Paralympics.
More recently, they were selected for the Australian Rollers squad that will head to the 2021 Paralympics in Tokyo.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are in Darwin together for the first time in six years.
“The whole purpose of this match is to try and showcase the sport here as well as the competition at the DBA, which was a pathway for both of us,” McCarthy-Grogan told the NT News.
“On top of that, we really want to break down the social barriers and stigma around having a disability and playing sport, showing there are options.
“Without the social competition at the DBA, we wouldn’t be where we are. It has opened pathways to places people don’t consider, such as the Paralympics.
“It’s really important for us to help grow the sport up here. We came from this competition and now there are two Territorians in the national men’s squad.”
O’Neill-Thorne also felt the exhibition match would be a great opportunity to showcase the DBA and the developing talent in the Darwin Wheelchair League.
“This exhibition match is a great chance for us to showcase the great work the DBA has done and showcase the talent we have up here in front of a large crowd,” O’Neill-Thorne said.
“This is incredibly important for us as this league is where we both started proving it’s a great pathway and at the same time the league has quite a social aspect, which is great.
“I’ve loved being back in Darwin over the past few months and being back has proved to me just how much I’ve missed being at home.”
The DBA would like to thank their sponsors and partners Sponsors City of Darwin, Rise Ventures, Casuarina All Sports Club, Basketball Northern Territory and Territory Therapy Solutions for helping put the match together.
Story Credit: NT News.