If he were to be remembered for nothing else, Sandy Blythe’s role as captain of the Rollers during their historic run to the gold medal at the 1996 Paralympics in Atlanta would guarantee his place in Australia’s basketball history. But he will be remembered for a great deal more than that.
Sandy had his sights set on a career in the VFL when a car accident left him paralysed. Against all the odds, Sandy decided that he would draw on his competitive drive to conquer the challenges of both life and sport. By 1988, Sandy Blythe had been selected to represent his country at the Paralympics in Seoul, where the Rollers would finish in 10th position. Twelve years later, in the year 2000, Blythe would be named co-captain of the Australian Paralympic team for the Sydney Paralympic Games that finished fifth. A noted corporate speaker and businessman, Sandy Blythe’s tragically early death in November 2005 robbed our sport of one of its finest ambassadors.
As a player and as a person Sandy Blythe was truly world-class. Few people have been more deserving of enshrinement into the Australian Basketball Hall of Fame.