After coming within a whisker of making the Australian team for Beijing 2008, wheelchair basketball player Bill Latham was over the moon to make the Australian team for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Seen as the heir apparent to long time Rollers big man Brad Ness, Bill is an imposing force on the court and contributed a sizeable 27 points during the London campaign, where the team won silver after losing to Canada in the gold medal match.
Bill was part of the all conquering Australian team that won gold at the 2010 World Championships in Birmingham, England which fuelled the fire in his belly leading into London and continues now. In a thrilling finals showdown, Australia beat France 79-69 which was an experience he rates as the highlight of his career. One year earlier, Bill made his debut for the Rollers where they won the 2009 Paralympic World Cup.
Bill was five-years-old when he was run over by a tractor and slasher on his family property near Coffs Harbour. Suffering a fractured skull and severe enough damage to both legs to warrant four months in an intensive care ward in Sydney, Bill underwent countless operations and found himself needing crutches to move around.
At the age of 13, Bill made the decision, with the support of his family, to have his left leg amputated. Having spent eight years on crutches, he had the option of another round of surgery but success was not guaranteed.
Before finding his way to wheelchair basketball, Bill found success in swimming. He was also the NSW junior wheelchair lawn bowls champion in 2003 and has broken Australian age records for discus, javelin and shot put.
While he is originally from NSW’s mid north coast, he has spent much of his career based in Europe playing in the Spanish league for CD Ilunion. While in Australia, he plays in the NWNBL with the Brisbane Spinning Bullets.
Sport runs in Bill’s genes with his great grandfather Tedda Courtney who played rugby league for Australia and was the first coach of the Canterbury Bulldogs. He enjoys watching movies and television show NCIS in his spare time.