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Wheelchair Basketball World Championships: Phil Pratt keen for ‘something special’

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Wheelchair Basketball World Championships

Phil Pratt, co-captain of the Great Britain wheelchair basketball team, is eagerly anticipating the upcoming World Championships in Dubai, marking his third appearance at the prestigious event. Despite facing numerous challenges on and off the court in recent years, including the disqualification of his longtime teammate George Bates and family illness, Pratt now finds himself in a positive mindset ahead of the competition.

Reflecting on his decision to take a break and miss out on the Tokyo Paralympics, where his team clinched the bronze medal, Pratt acknowledged that he was not in a good place mentally at the time. He explained how he had been solely focused on tournaments and the demanding club season since a young age, which eventually took its toll on him. Additionally, the passing of his beloved grandfather further reinforced his decision to step back from the sport. Having received immense support from his grandfather during his own challenging times, Pratt felt a deep sense of duty to be there for him in return.

Although he missed the experience of being in Tokyo and supporting his team, Pratt is proud of his decision and believes it has reignited his motivation to achieve greatness. He now aims to contribute to the team’s success in winning the World Championships and the Europeans later in the summer, with hopes of delivering something extraordinary at the Paralympics next year. While gold medals hold immense value, Pratt emphasizes the importance of prioritizing mental well-being and spending time with loved ones above all else.

The World Championships will see both the men’s and women’s Great Britain teams undergo coaching changes, with Miguel Vaquero Maestre taking charge of the women’s team and the Canadian brothers Bill and Joey Johnson assuming coaching roles for the men’s team. As defending champions, the men’s team will begin their campaign against Iran, followed by matches against Iraq and the USA. The women’s team will kick off their journey against Spain, facing Brazil, China, Canada, and Australia in subsequent matches.

The upcoming period is filled with intense competition for both teams, as they will also be participating in the European Championships in August, where the first Paralympic qualification places will be at stake. Pratt acknowledges the pressure on his team as the reigning world champions, with opponents consistently raising their game against them. However, he remains optimistic about their chances, expressing confidence in their new coaching staff and the team’s ability to adapt and enhance their play.

Pratt enters the World Championships with a successful season behind him, having secured back-to-back Spanish League titles and retained the EuroCup Champions Cup with his club, Amiab Albacete, alongside his international teammates Harry Brown, Ben Fox, Lee Manning, and Charlotte Moore from the women’s team. Building strong relationships both on and off the court is crucial for Pratt, as he believes that a fulfilling personal life contributes to optimal performance on the court. The team emphasizes mental well-being, with various activities such as gaming and socializing helping them bond and maintain a positive mindset.

Currently in a contented state of mind, Pratt acknowledges the initial adjustment period upon his return but is now more motivated than ever to reclaim their position at the pinnacle of the sport. As he sets his sights on achieving greatness once again, Pratt remains determined to make his mark at the Wheelchair Basketball World Championships.

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SportsFan23 June 10, 2023 - 1:59 am

Wow, Phil Pratt’s story is truly inspiring. It’s amazing how he’s bounced back from all those challenges and is now ready to conquer the World Championships! Go GB!

BballLover June 10, 2023 - 1:59 am

I’m so happy for Phil Pratt! He’s a real champion on and off the court. It’s great to see him prioritizing his mental health and family while still staying motivated to win big. Can’t wait to watch the World Championships!

GameOn June 10, 2023 - 1:59 am

Phil Pratt’s determination and resilience are truly admirable. He’s been through so much, but he’s back and ready to bring his A-game. I’m rooting for him and the entire Great Britain team to shine in the World Championships!

SportsTalker June 10, 2023 - 1:59 am

Phil Pratt’s decision to take a break shows his strength and maturity. Sometimes, we all need to step back and take care of ourselves. But now he’s back and hungrier than ever for victory. Let’s hope he helps GB bring home the gold!

HoopDreamer June 10, 2023 - 1:59 am

The Wheelchair Basketball World Championships are going to be intense! With all the coaching changes and a competitive field, it’s anyone’s game. But I have a feeling Phil Pratt and the Great Britain team will rise to the occasion. Good luck, guys!


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