The prophetic words of Jeremy Tyndall’s first wheelchair basketball coach carry much more weight today than they did about five years ago.
‘‘I told him the first time he trained with us that if he wanted to apply himself he could probably play for Australia one day,’’ former Goulburn Valley Wheelies (now Rolla Gators) coach Neville Thorn said.
Tyndall will return home from Canada with a bronze medal around his neck after his maiden World Championship campaign ended in success.
While not the first time the Waaia product has represented his country, it was certainly his highest honour so far.
A remarkable comeback secured the under-23 Spinners victory in their playoff with Japan, coming back from as much as 18 points down at one stage to take the spoils of victory.
Tyndall only earned four points, one rebound, two assists and a steal in the win, but it was his efforts without possession that drew him plaudits from the commentators.
The Kilsyth Cobra performed pick and rolls and screens with gusto, while also slowing down the lightning quick Japanese during more than 28 minutes on court.
Tyndall’s tenacity at the ball carrier surely stems from his courage and determination to return to the sporting arena after a motorcycle accident left him a paraplegic.
‘‘He came to us just six months after his injury, which is remarkable in itself,’’ Thorn said.
‘‘Most people take at least 12 months to come back from something like that.
‘‘We’re all rapt to see that he’s got a bronze medal, he’s done all the hard work and definitely deserves the reward.’’