(Ottawa, Ont.) Wheelchair Basketball Canada is proud to announce the 12 athletes selected to Team Canada for the Men’s U23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship coming to Toronto from June 8-16, 2017.
“We have assembled the top junior athletes from across Canada and we’re confident that with our combination of experienced leaders and emerging talent we can go head-to-head with the top wheelchair basketball teams in the world. It’s an immense privilege to compete on home soil in front of friends and family and we are excited to have our fellow Canadians cheer us on in our pursuit of the podium,” said Darrell Nordell, head coach of the Canadian Men’s U23 National Team.
The Canadian roster features two Paralympians who represented Canada at Rio 2016 in Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) and Ben Moronchuk (Edmonton, Alta.). Hickey and Vincent Dallaire (Quebec, Que.), both silver medallists with Team Canada at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games, are the two returning players from the Canadian side that competed at the last world championship for junior men in 2013.
The athletes nominated to the Canadian Men’s U23 National Team are as follows:
- #4 – Eric Voss (St. Marys, Ont.)
- #5 – Ben Moronchuk (Edmonton, Alta.) *
- #6 – Lee Melymick (Toronto, Ont.)
- #7 – Vincent Dallaire (Quebec, Que.)
- #8 – Liam Hickey (St. John’s, N.L.) *
- #9 – Tanner Jung (Langley, B.C.)
- #10 – Garrett Ostepchuk (Regina, Sask.)
- #11 – Ben Hagkull (Chilliwack, B.C.)
- #12 – Ben Tumack (Edmonton, Alta.)
- #13 – Adel Akhmed (Toronto, Ont.)
- #14 – Alex Hayward (Quispamsis, N.B.)
- #15 – Westley Johnston (Kinkora, P.E.I.)
* Denotes athletes with Paralympic Games experience.
The team will be supported by the following coaching staff:
- Head Coach – Darrell Nordell (Edmonton, Alta.)
- Assistant Coach – Dave Durepos (Fredericton, N.B.)
- Assistant Coach – Steve Sampson (Hatchet Lake, N.S.)
The Canadian men’s U23 team will be heading to Germany May 12-14 to take part in a friendly tournament and compete against teams from Germany and Austria. Afterwards Team Canada will centralize in Toronto in early June in preparation for the world championship.
The Canadian U23 men have competed at each of world championship for junior men since hosting the inaugural event in 1997 in Toronto. Canada claimed back-to-back gold medals at the event in 1997 and 2001, and most recently placed sixth in 2013. Team Canada is in pursuit of the podium once again as the country and the world celebrate the event’s return to the inaugural host city 20 years later.
World-class athletes representing 12 nations, including host Canada, will converge at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in downtown Toronto from June 8-16, 2017 for the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Men’s U23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship. The teams will showcase the elite skill and athleticism that make wheelchair basketball a thrilling spectator sport and one of the most popular sports for athletes with a disability in the world.
For more information visit: www.2017u23wwbc.com / #2017u23wwbc
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sport governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last seven Paralympic Games. For more information, please visit www.wheelchairbasketball.ca.