25 June, 2024

GB legend Gaz Choudhry MBE calls time on illustrious career

Gaz Choudhry MBE has announced his retirement from international wheelchair basketball after fifteen years representing Great Britain on the big stage.

Gaz has been an integral part of the Men’s squad since his first appearance for the side at the 2009 BT Paralympic World Cup. On court, significant achievements include four European titles, a historic World title, and two Paralympic bronze medals (Rio 2016, Tokyo 2020).

Introduced to the sport at twelve years old, Gaz felt an instant connection with the thrill of wheelchair basketball – the sense of speed and freedom on court – and built a foundation of his skills at London Force (now London Titans).

Off the court, Gaz – who was born in Karachi, Pakistan, and grew up in London – studied at Royal Holloway University, graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science (2005). Alongside his wheelchair basketball career, Gaz has recently found immense success on a different stage – theatre and film.

The three-time Paralympian was the focus of national pride at Tokyo 2020 for stepping up as player-coach following then Head Coach Haj Bhania testing positive for Covid-19 before flying out to Tokyo. In 2021 following the Games, Gaz was awarded an MBE for his outstanding contributions to the sport and for his achievements on the court.

Gaz Choudhry commented on his retirement:

“When I discovered the sport, I didn’t even know the incredible journey it would take me on was even a possibility. Wheelchair basketball has given me so much meaning and been the source of so much joy in my life. Representing Great Britain over the years has been a true privilege.

“I am extremely grateful for all the teammates that put on the shirt alongside me and shared the court with over the years, and the great athletes that came before – I always felt that I was ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ every time I put that shirt on.

“Thank you to all the people that have supported me over the years, and I can’t wait to be cheering on our teams this summer and beyond in the pursuit of success with the same passion and determination I did for so many years.

“Forever indebted to the game.”

Justine Baynes, CEO of British Wheelchair Basketball, commented:

“Gaz is a once-in-a-lifetime player, who has not only excelled on the court, but who has been a major part of our leadership team for a number of years. Not many people could have stepped up the way that he did in the Tokyo Games, steering the men’s team to a bronze medal. This isn’t the end of Gaz’s wheelchair basketball career as we have some plans to continue to work together. We will miss him hugely but are excited to watch him in his new career on screen and wish him the very best in his next adventure.”

Image credit: BWB / SA Images

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