Lance Armstrong, John Maclean, Kent Kingsley
Making his Australian debut at the world championship qualification tournament in 2009, wining silver at London 2012
Coming from behind to win against the Brisbane Spinning Bullets to come third in the NWBL
From the country town of Horsham in Victoria to the heights of American basketball, Jannik Blair is a star in the making.
Since first playing wheelchair basketball in 2005, Jannik plays for the Dandenong Rangers in the National Wheelchair Basketball League, where his impressive form as a one-pointer caught the interest of Australian men’s wheelchair basketball coach Ben Ettridge. He soon made his Australian debut in 2009 Asia Oceania Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Dandenong, which he considers one of his proudest moments.
Jannik has since made appearances for the Rollers at the Rollers World Challenge series against Canada in 2009, the 2011 Wheelchair Basketball Tri-Series against South Africa and the 2011 Asia Oceania Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Korea, as well as the London Paralympic Games, where he helped the team win a silver medal.
Ever the country boy, at 12 years old Jannik was driving his grandfather’s ute in a dirt paddock when it flipped and rolled. Breaking his back and wrist and suffering a collapsed lung, he was placed in an induced coma for a week before enduring weeks of rehabilitation. Having always played sport, Jannik adapted to his new lifestyle and threw himself into hand-cycling, track racing and wheelchair basketball. In 2006, he attended an APC Paralympic Talent Search day in Ballarat, which only confirmed his natural talent for basketball and sent his life down a new path.
Jannik loves all sport, reading, travelling and is a bit of a history buff. He is currently studying at the University of Missouri in the United States where he was awarded a partial scholarship and plays in the American Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA).
While losing his shorts in a whirlpool at the local pool is his most embarrassing moment, Jannik says that being part of the Rollers team at a Paralympic Games is his proudest moment and looks up to sporting legends such as tennis star Roger Federer and Paralympian John Maclean for inspiration.