Pottsville wheelchair basketball 'fanatic' Jace Tyler is hoping to compete at the national under 18 wheelchair basketball championships in Victoria in April. Photo: SCOTT POWICK
Pottsville wheelchair basketball 'fanatic' Jace Tyler is hoping to compete at the national under 18 wheelchair basketball championships in Victoria in April. Photo: SCOTT POWICK

Tweed basketball star’s plea to achieve dreams

WHEN Jace Tyler isn't shooting hoops in real life, he's shooting hoops on NBA2K on the playstation.

The Pottsville teen's passion for basketball means he trains six days a week and has his sights set on the Australian under 23's team and represent Australia at the 2021 world games.

But to get there, the star wheelchair basketballer needs help.

Jace made the state Queensland team for the second year in a row to play at the 2021 Australian U18 Championships and Kevin Coombs Cup in Werribee on April 10-17.

The Kingscliff State High School year 12 student faces not only the basketball court with a fierce determination but also the complicated health journey across his 15 alive.

Born three-and-a-half months premature, Jace contracted golden staph at two-weeks old.

The infection destroyed many of his joints and also left him with Cerebral Palsy and Septic Arthritis.

Unfortunately even after multiple operations, Jace's lower limb deterioration means he is now wheelchair bound.

Mother Lisa Tyler said this took a toll on Jace's mental health and the family tried to get him involved in sport.

 

Pottsville wheelchair basketball 'fanatic' Jace Tyler is hoping to compete at the national under 18 wheelchair basketball championships in Victoria in April. Photo: SCOTT POWICK
Pottsville wheelchair basketball 'fanatic' Jace Tyler is hoping to compete at the national under 18 wheelchair basketball championships in Victoria in April. Photo: SCOTT POWICK

 

"He is in pain everyday, he has never had a pain free day," she said.

"He has always loved sport and longed to be part of a team.

"Wheelchair basketball turned his life around.

"Nothing can keep him down, he is the most driven and stubborn person I know, nothing stops him from his goal."

After a few false starts with soccer and tennis as his physical challenges meant he was unable to fully participate, Jace found basketball.

Two years ago, Jace began rolling with the Gold Coast's Rollerblaze wheelchair basketball team.

According to his parents, he fell in love with the game and was a "total natural".

His first state team selection for the Queensland Juniors Rolling Thunder came just six month after he started playing.

Ms Tyler said the training and competing in tournaments at premier level involved a lot of travel and coasts soared through what they could afford for accommodation, travel, tournaments and training camps.

As only one of the upcoming tournaments, the Kevin Coombes Cup in Ballarat in April's associated costs add up to $2000.

The family has limited funds as they survive on a carer's pension to help Jace navigate the difficulties of his health problems.

A go-fund me page has been set up to help Jace achieve his dreams and travel to tournaments.

"I can't work full-time as an employers perspective I'm unreliable," she said

"We had to forgo watching Jace play at nationals last year in Townsville as on a pension looking after a child with disability we can't afford to do that kind of stuff.

"Anything donated to support us would really help and we really appreciate it."

To donate, click here.



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