(Adana, Turkey) The Canadian Men’s U23 Wheelchair Basketball Team opened the 2013 World Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championship in Adana, Turkey with a convincing 62-31 win over South Africa.
“We are very proud of our team’s performance today. Three of our guys played in their very first international games including Jack and Liam who scored their first-ever international baskets. Our young guys were supported tremendously by the great leadership of our three returning players.” said team Canada head coach Steve Bialowas.
“Canada should be pleased to have these 12 young men representing them”
Playing in his second World Junior Championship, Nik Goncin, of Regina, Sask. notched a double-double and led all players in three categories with 25 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists. Returning veterans and twin brothers Jonathan and Phillippe Vermette, of Sherbrooke, Que. pitched in with 3 points and 10 rebounds, and 5 points, 4 rebounds and 1 assist respectively.
Vincent Dallaire, of Quebec City, Que. was Canada’s hottest shooter making four-out-of-five of his shots (80%) from the field to finish with 8 points, 3 rebounds, and an assist. When the dust settled 10-out-of-12 players found their way onto the score sheet for Canada.
The World Junior Championship is held every four years and Canada is one of twelve countries competing for the world title in Adana, Turkey, September 7-14, 2013. Canada has the added incentive of potentially becoming the only team in history to win the tournament three times. The inaugural Junior World Championship was held in Toronto in 1997 and Canada went on to win the first two tournaments (1997 and 2001).
The 2013 Canadian roster includes three returning players from the team that placed eighth at the last Junior Men’s World Championship in 2009.
The 12 junior men are:
- Aidan Love (Whitehorse, Y.T.)
- Jack Kosterman (Fort Langley, B.C.)
- Jeremy Watts (Charlottetown, P.E.I.)
- Joel Watts (Charlottetown, P.E.I.)
- Jonathan Vermette (Sherbrooke, Que.)
- Kevin Wakeling (Cambridge, Ont.)
- Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.)
- Mitch Bossaer (Saskatoon, Sask.)
- Nikola Goncin (Regina, Sask.)
- Philippe Vermette (Sherbrooke, Que.)
- Reid Richard (Regina, Sask.)
- Vincent Dallaire (Quebec City, Que.)
Head Coach: Stephen Bialowas (Toronto, Ont.)
Assistant Coach: Paul Bowes (London, Ont.)
Assistant Coach: Steve Sampson (Hatchet Lake, N.S.)
- Alexandre Courcelles (Saint-Roch Ouest, Que.)
- Josh Davies (London, Ont.)
- Justin Johnson (Milner, B.C.)
Team Canada will now look to carry the momentum into their second game against Great Britain September 8 at 9:45am E.T.
About Team Canada
The Canadian Junior Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team consists of the top male athletes under 23-years-of-age from across the Country. They are assembled with the ultimate goal of competing in, and winning the U23 Men’s World Championships, which are held every four years. Canada hosted the inaugural tournament in 1997 and won back-to-back World Championships in 1997 and 2001.