Amber Merritt

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Amber Merritt
Amber Merritt.JPG
Merritt at a game in Sydney
Personal information
Nickname(s) Bambi
Nationality Australia
Born (1993-02-17) 17 February 1993 (age 21)
Portsmouth, England
Sport
Country Australia
Sport Wheelchair basketball
Disability class 4.5
Event(s) Women's team
Club Be Active Western Stars

Amber Merritt (born 17 February 1993) is a 4.5-point wheelchair basketball player who plays forward. She represented Australia at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, where she won a silver medal.

Born in England, Merritt moved to Australia when she was ten years old. She was originally a swimmer, but was recruited into basketball by the Paralympic Hall of Fame coach Frank Ponta in 2007. She started playing top level club wheelchair basketball in Australia for the Perth Western Stars in the Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League (WNWBL) in 2008. In 2013, she captained the team, and it to its first WNWBL championship. She was the league's top scorer, and the Most Valuable Player 4 pointer in its All Star Five, in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Merritt made her debut with the Australia women's national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders, in 2009. She has played for the Gliders in a number of international series including the 2010 U23 World Championship, 2011 U25 World Championship, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Osaka Cups, the 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup, and 2012 Gliders and Rollers World Challenge in Sydney.

Personal[edit]

Wikinews reporters interview Australian Gliders Leanne Del Toso, Sarah Vinci, Amber Merritt and Clare Nott
wheelchair basketball player
Merritt after taking a free throw at a game in Sydney

Nicknamed Bambi, Merritt was born on 17 February 1993 in Portsmouth, England, with a club foot.[1][2] She moved to Perth in Western Australia when she was ten after her parents decided they wanted to see what else the world had to offer, and graduated from high school there in 2010.[2] As of 2013, she lives in Wanneroo, Western Australia.[1][3]

Wheelchair basketball[edit]

Merritt is a 4.5-point wheelchair basketball who plays forward.[1][4] She started playing in 2007.[1] She was originally a swimmer, but was recruited into basketball by the Paralympic Hall of Fame coach Frank Ponta.[5][6]

In financial year 2012/13, the Australian Sports Commission gave Merritt a A$20,000 grant as part of their Direct Athlete Support (DAS) program. She received $17,000 in 2011/12 and 2010/11 and $5,571.42 in 2009/10.[7]

Wearing jersey number 14,[2] Merritt started playing top level club wheelchair basketball in Australia for the Perth Western Stars in the Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League in 2008. In the second round of that season, the Western Stars defeated the Hills Hornets 52–44. Playing for the Stars, she scored 10 points in her team's victory.[2][8][9][10]

In the 2012 season during the first game loss, Merritt scored eight points, had five rebounds, and two assists. In the league's third game and her team's second game, a loss to the Dandenong Rangers, she scored 26 points, and had 14 rebounds. In her team's third game victory against the Sydney Uni Flames, she scored 18 points, while having 10 rebounds.[11] In the Western Stars' 56–36 semifinal victory against the Sydney Uni Flames, she played an important role. The Western Stars played in the league's third place match, where she led it in scoring with 34 points as they defeated Sydney 63–54.[12] She finished the season as the WNWBL Season Top Scorer,[12]

Merritt was the Western Stars' captain for the 2013 season, and led the team to its first WNWBL championship, defeating the Sachs Goldcamp Bears in the final 43–40 despite being 11 points down at three-quarter time. She was the league's top scorer, and the Most Valuable Player 4 pointer in its All Star Five,[13] as she had previously been in 2011 and 2012.[14][15]

Merritt made her debut with the Australia women's national wheelchair basketball team, known as the Gliders, in 2009,[1][9] playing in several different competitions that year including the Japan Friendly Series, Four Nations in Canada and the Under 23 World Championship where her team finished fourth.[2] As the youngest member of the Australian team at the 2010 World Championships, she finished fourth.[1][16] She competed in the 2011 Asia Oceania Regional Championships, scoring ten points for her team as the third leading scorer in the final game of a competition where her did not lose a single match.[17][18] That year, she also represented Australia at the 2011 Under 25 World Championships,[1][19] where she wore shirt number 7 and was a key blocker for her team.[20] Merritt played in the 2011 Osaka Cup,[2] and the 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup.[21] She competed at the 2012 Gliders and Rollers World Challenge in Sydney, scoring the winning points in the first place match against the Germany women's national wheelchair basketball team,[22] and was named the women's MVP for the competition,[23] having averaged 17.8 points per game.[24]

Merritt was selected to represent Australia at the 2012 Summer Paralympics in wheelchair basketball.[1] The London Games were her first.[25] In the group stage, the Australia women's national wheelchair basketball team at the 2012 Summer Paralympics posted wins against Brazil,[26] Great Britain,[27] and the Netherlands,[28] but lost to the Canada.[29] This was enough to advance the Gliders to the quarter-finals, where they beat Mexico.[30] The Gliders then defeated the United States by a point to set up a final clash with Germany.[31] The Gliders lost 44–58, and earned a silver medal.[32]

Since the London games, Merritt has participated in the 2013 Osaka Cup,[33] where the Gliders successfully defended the title they had won in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012.[34]

Statistics[edit]

Season statistics[35]
Competition Season M MIN FGM–A FG% 2PM–A 2P% 3PM–A 3P% FTM–A FT% PFS Pts OFF DEF TOT AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
WNWBL 2009 17 596:48 127–254 50.0 127–250 50.8 0–4 0.0 18–54 33.3 36 272 n/a n/a 10.9 2.0 n/a n/a n/a n/a 16.0
WNWBL 2010 17 n/a 159–282 56.4 n/a n/a 0–5 0.0 15–55 27.3 40 333 n/a n/a 9.8 1.5 n/a n/a n/a n/a 19.6
WNWBL 2011 19 n/a 207–406 51.0 n/a n/a 0–3 0.0 32–84 38.1 49 446 n/a n/a 13.7 2.6 n/a n/a n/a n/a 23.5
WNWBL 2012 15 n/a 169–350 48.3 n/a n/a 0–5 0.0 49–85 57.6 33 387 n/a n/a 9.9 2.9 n/a n/a n/a n/a 25.8
WNWBL 2013 14 518:43 204–367 55.6 204–364 56.0 0–3 0.0 32–76 42.1 25 440 3.1 7.4 10.4 3.6 1.6 0.6 2.3 1.8 31.4
Key
M : Matches played MIN : Minutes played
FGM, FGA, FG%: field goals made, attempted and percentage 3FGM, 3FGA, 3FG%: three-point field goals made, attempted and percentage
FTM, FTA, FT%: free throws made, attempted and percentage OFF, DEF, TOT: rebounds average offensive, defensive, total per game
AST: assists average per game STL: steals average per game
BLK: blocks average per game TO: turnovers average per game
PFS, PF: personal fouls, average per game Pts, PTS: points, average per game
n/a: not applicable

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Amber Merritt". Australia: Australian Paralympic Committee. 2012. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Player statistics for Amber Merritt". SportingPulse. 17 February 1993. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  3. ^ Robinson, Chris (6 July 2012). "Seven WA basketballers picked for Paralympics". Perth Now. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  4. ^ Glen Foreman (8 July 2012). "Ness on path to fourth Paralympics". Fox Sports. Retrieved 13 July 2012. 
  5. ^ Foreman, Glen (5 September 2012). "Australian women's wheelchair basketball teams beats Mexico". News Ltd. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  6. ^ Mannion, Tim (29 August 2011). "Australia's Greatest Inducted into Paralympic Hall of Fame". Retrieved 14 February 2012. 
  7. ^ "Grant Funding Report". Bruce, Australian Capital Territory: Australian Sports Commission. Retrieved 15 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "WNWBL Round 2 – National Wheelchair Basketball League (NWBL)". SportingPulse. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Gliders v Japan". Basketball Victoria. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "New-look WNWBL ignites this weekend — Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League". SportingPulse. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  11. ^ "Bears still on top after Round 3 – Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League". SportingPulse. 29 June 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "2012 WNWBL Champions". Athletes with a Disability. 25 June 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Be Active Western Stars Crowned WNWBL Champions in Thrilling Style". Western Australian Sports Federation. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  14. ^ "Victoria Dandenong Rangers Take Home 2011 WNWBL Trophy". Disability Sports Australia. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Rangers take out WNWBL Championship". Sporting Pulse. Retrieved 25 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Team named for Women's Wheelchair Worlds". The Sydney Morning Herald. 16 June 2010. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  17. ^ "Basketball Australia : Rollers and Gliders Asia champs wrap". Basketball.net.au. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "Wheelcats, Stars headline national teams –". The West Australian. 19 October 2011. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "Aust U25 Women's Wheelchair team depart for Canada — Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League". SportingPulse. 30 June 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "2011 Women's U25 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships — Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League". SportingPulse. 30 June 30 June 2012. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "Australia's Amber Merritt — Yahoo! Eurosport". Opta-widget.eurosport.yahoo.net. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  22. ^ Vidler, Adam. "Paralympics: Aussies on a roll towards London". Canterbury-Bankstown Express. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  23. ^ "Perfect Preparation for Rollers and Gliders". Wheelchair Sports Western Australia. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2013. 
  24. ^ "Competition Statistics for Gliders World Challenge". SportingPulse. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  25. ^ "Games wheelchair Basketball Squads Named". Nine MSN. Retrieved 27 July 2012. 
  26. ^ Abbott, Chris (30 August 2012). "Gliders Prevail in Thriller". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  27. ^ Abbott, Chris (31 August 2012). "Gliders Win Comfortably Against Host". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  28. ^ Abbott, Chris (2 September 2012). "Gliders Secure Quarter-final Place". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  29. ^ "Gliders shocked by Canada". Basketball Australia. 2 September 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  30. ^ Abbott, Chris (4 September 2012). "Gliders Dominate Mexico". Australian Paralympic Committee. Retrieved 2 February 2012. 
  31. ^ "Gliders down champions to reach final". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 7 September 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013. 
  32. ^ Paxinos, Stathi (9 September 2013). "Gliders get rolled for gold by German muscle". The Age. Retrieved 1 February 2013. 
  33. ^ "2013 Osaka Cup, Japan, Australian Gliders Player Profiles". Basketball Australia. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  34. ^ "Aussie Gliders 2013 Osaka Cup Champions". Basketball Australia. 17 February 2013. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  35. ^ "Player Statistics for Amber Merritt (4.5)". Retrieved 21 July 2013. 

External links[edit]