Littlehampton wheelchair basketball talent Lewis Edwards admitted representing Great Britain’s junior team in the Fazza International Tournament was a great experience.
Edwards, 17, who attends Angmering Sixth Form College, was one of 12 players who made up the British team for the event last month.
A fine team showing saw them finish third in the tournament, which proved to be a good achievement considering other nations sent their senior teams to the competition in Dubai.
Great Britain defeated Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, before they lost to Thailand in the group stage.
Despite that defeat, GB still booked a semi-final spot but suffered an over-time defeat to Japan.
However, they dusted themselves down and saw off Thailand in the third/fourth place play-off.
In what was Edwards’ first international tournament, he saw it as a great experience and said: “It was a great experience for myself and the team. I attended a training camp in the build-up but other than that we hadn’t played too much together as a team.
“We did well to finish third but were unlucky not to reach the final. In the semi-final, we were two points ahead with ten seconds left but Japan scored, then won in over-time.
“We were the only full junior team in the competition, so for us to end third was a good achievement.”
Edwards admits this taste on the global stage has given him the hunger to compete in more international competitions.
With Rio De Janeiro’s Paralympics just a few months away that will come too soon for Edwards but he has aspirations of making the GB squad in Tokyo four years from now.
He added: “I had some really positive feedback from my coach after the event.
“He said if I continue the type of performance I did in Dubai I could be in a chance of making the team in Tokyo.
“That shocked me and just makes me want to keep working hard to achieve that goal.”
Edwards is also a talented discus thrower but admits it is becoming increasingly difficult to continue to do both sports.
He said: “I enjoy discus throwing but my love is wheelchair basketball.
“It’s getting tough to do both and if I had to choose one it would be basketball.
“However. I’ll keep doing both for the time-being, then see what happens in the future.
“I’d love to one day be part of the Great Britain Paralympic team, whether that be in Tokyo or not.”
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