Morich lives his hoop dreams

The West Australian - - NEWS - Liam Croy

With the Tokyo Par­a­lympics in mind, Ryan Morich is sharp­en­ing his skills in the home of big-time wheel­chair bas­ket­ball.

Bright lights, scream­ing fans and live TV broad­casts — the US col­lege sys­tem is the ul­ti­mate prov­ing ground for young play­ers.

Morich is in his fourth year of a schol­ar­ship at the Univer­sity of Alabama, where the wheel­chair bas­ket­ball play­ers are ea­ger to get back on the court af­ter fin­ish­ing third in this year’s na­tional cham­pi­onships.

When he re­turns to Perth,

Morich plays for the Red Dust

Heel­ers in the Na­tional

Wheel­chair Bas­ket­ball League, a team he co-founded in 2013.

He trav­els to re­mote WA com­mu­ni­ties to em­power dis­abled in­dige­nous Aus­tralians through the Wheel­ing and Heal­ing pro­gram.

The 23-year-old lost his leg af­ter he was di­ag­nosed with bone cancer aged 12. He won the Youth Award at the West Aus­tralian of the Year Awards in June.

Morich said he loved the thrill of play­ing in front of thou­sands of fans in the US, but his ul­ti­mate goal was break­ing into the Aus­tralian Par­a­lympics team.

“I’ve got my sights set on Tokyo 2020 — 100 per cent,” he said.

Pic­ture: Matthew Wood/Univer­sity of Alabama

WA’s Ryan Morich.

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