Brisbane Bullets legend Robert Sibley is battling cancer. Picture: Lachie Millard
Brisbane Bullets legend Robert Sibley is battling cancer. Picture: Lachie Millard

Bullets legend in the fight of his life

Brisbane Bullets legend Robert Sibley is in the fight of his life.

The 53-year-old is battling cancer that started in his bladder and has spread to his kidney.

He has been undergoing intensive treatment since the tumour was discovered in November.

With all that he is facing, the father-of-three adult children is thankful for one small mercy.

"When I walked into the oncology department, I just thought that it is better that it's me and not my kids,'' Sibley said. "That's a big thing for me.

 

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"Mentally, I feel good. I feel pretty strong but this is the biggest thing I've had to face.''

A range of fundraising activities are being organised to help Sibley, who has been buoyed by the basketball and wider sporting community reaching out to him with support.

"The people that have got in touch with me … it's meant a lot," he said. "That bond, that brotherhood never leaves.''

Sibley - who was known as the "Baseline Bandit" - was part of the Brisbane side during the club's NBL glory days in the 1980s when the Bullets were the hottest ticket in town.

He made his debut for the Bullets in February 1984 as a 17-year-old and played in the grand final-winning teams in 1985 and 1987 alongside the likes of Leroy Loggins, Larry Sengstock and Ron Radliff.

Sibley also spent two seasons at the Melbourne Tigers and played a vital role in the club's first title in 1993 alongside Andrew Gaze and Mark Bradtke and under mastercoach Lindsay Gaze.

He played in seven grand finals in an NBL career that spanned 371 games, including 305 with the Bullets to be the club's second-most capped player behind Loggins, who had 513 outings in Brisbane colours.

 

Robert Sibley was a key player for the Brisbane Bullets in the club’s glory days in the 1980s.
Robert Sibley was a key player for the Brisbane Bullets in the club’s glory days in the 1980s.

 

The power forward retired in 1997 but played five more games in 2003 when the club was in the midst of an injury crisis.

Sibley also served the club off-court as an operations manager and general manager.

Brisbane chief executive Peter McLennan said the Bullets would throw their support behind Sibley as he was an integral part of the club's rich history.

"Robert is certainly a club great when you consider all that he did for the Bullets in the 1980s and 1990s so the onus is on us to get behind him in his time of need,'' McLennan said.

"We'll work with him and drive whatever fundraising efforts are required.

"I've had conversations with the league and they want to know more about it as well so everyone is rallying around him as they should do.''



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