Sammy to hoop in Tokyo

WHYALLA BOY: Sammy White will front up for the Australian men's wheelchair basketball team at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: supplied.

WHYALLA BOY: Sammy White will front up for the Australian men's wheelchair basketball team at the Tokyo Olympics. Photo: supplied.

After a devastating motorcycle accident which changed his life, Sammy White is suiting up for his country to play in the Tokyo Paralympics.

Sammy was left a paraplegic after the incident, which happened in Point Lowly back in 2010, but that didn't stop him from getting involved with sport.

"Once I had the accident I was looking for something to do because there were limited opportunities to do wheelchair sports in Adelaide," he said.

"I started playing in a nighttime social league and I began to get a bit of a buzz just from getting into a chair and having a roll around ... from there it kind of snowballed."

His rise in wheelchair basketball has been remarkable, starting off playing in Australia before moving to the United States of America where he would play at the college level.

Sammy was soon invited to try out for the national team, also known as the Rollers. He has since helped Australia achieve a third place finish in the most recent world championships.

Sammy was in the mix for the Olympic team that went to Rio in 2016 but missed out on selection at the last minute - this year it's confirmed that he'll be heading to Tokyo.

"I'm ecstatic, I went from having the sheer disappointment of being cut five years ago to getting myself into this position ... I feel like I've gotten to a point where I can actively contribute to the team," he said.

"It was a pretty special feeling once it was announced."

One of the most popular sports at the Paralympics, wheelchair basketball is a physically demanding game, and Sammy plays in one of the more gritty team roles.

"I sit really low to the ground, getting in the way to help get the big guys through into the paint so they can score - there's a lot of inside finishing, a lot of pick and rolls," he said.

The Australian Rollers, who are third in the world rankings, will be competing against some of the top teams, including the current Paralympic Champions USA, World Champions Great Britain, and fourth-placed Iran.

From here Sammy will fly out to Tokyo and participate in several training sessions ahead of Australia's first game against Iran on August 26.