Jack Perry creates history with Great Britain at the Under-23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships
PUBLISHED: 07:00 23 June 2017
Cambridge player stars at tournament
Jack Perry is on top of the world with the all-conquering Great Britain under-23 wheelchair basketball team.
The 21-year-old former Hills Road Sixth Form College student was part of the squad that claimed an historic first victory for the country at the Under-23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships, which were held in Canada.
Perry, who also attended Sawston Village College, and Ben Fox were consistent high scorers throughout the tournament, and got 80 per cent of Britain’s points in the final as they beat Turkey 54-43.
It completed another step on the career of Perry, who plays for Oldham Owls and has been a member of the GB junior programme for five years.
“Our aim heading out to the tournament was to win a medal – no GB junior team has ever won a medal at the Junior World Championships so we wanted to make history,” said Perry, who has been supported by SportsAid, TASS (Talented Athlete Scholarship Scheme) and the University of Leeds scholarship scheme.
“It was difficult to know what our chances were as there were several teams at the tournament that we knew absolutely nothing about, including the USA and Iran who have been strong in the past.
“However, we knew we had a squad filled with both upcoming talents and experience, including our captain Gregg Warburton, who went to the Rio Paralympics with the men’s team.
“But there were also a few of us, including myself, who went to the last Junior World Championships in Adana, Turkey in 2013 where we finished fourth and learned a lot about international competition.
“During the period since then we were crowned Junior European Championships in 2014 and then placed second at the Junior European Championships earlier this year.
“So having experienced success with the same guys previously we definitely felt there was a real chance of victory.
“Having said that, the actual feeling of winning was just unbelievable. As a team we’re such a close-knit unit, much more so than our competitors, and I’m sure that helped us win.
“To then celebrate and win a world championship with some of your best mates is a feeling I’ll never forget. We all worked so hard to be there and every one of the 12 members played a role, and so did our coach, assistant coach, physio and team manager.”
Great Britain defeated the United States, Germany, South Africa, France, Iran, Japan and then finally Turkey on their way to the gold medal.