BENDIGO basketballer Bree Mellberg and the Australian Gliders will open their Tokyo Paralympic Games campaign at 6pm (AEST) on Wednesday.
Almost a decade after achieving a silver medal at the 2012 Games in London, the Gliders are back on the Paralympics stage.
The Australian women's wheelchair basketball team will be eager to make up for lost time after failing to qualify for the 2016 Games in Brazil.
That wait has been an even longer one, with the Tokyo Games postponed in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All but two of the Gliders' 12-member team, including Mellberg, will be making their Games debut when the team comes up against Japan.
It will be a proud moment for the Mildura-born, but Bendigo -raised 31-year-old, who started her sporting journey in gymnastics and diving.
Mellberg turned to wheelchair basketball in 2015, two years after she broke her neck in a trampoline accident, which left her requiring the use of wheelchair.
She has never looked back and has since represented Australia on numerous occasions overseas, but never at the Paralympics.
Australia has been drawn in Group A and will play Canada, Germany, Great Britain and Japan during the group stage of the tournament.
The Gliders won medals at four consecutive Paralympics from 2000-2012, including silver in Sydney (2000), Athens (2004) and London (2012).
Mellberg, who represents Kilsyth Cobras in the Women's National Wheelchair Basketball League, will wear singlet number 10 for the Gliders.
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