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12 Athletes will wear the Maple Leaf in Phuket, Thailand from Sept. 7-16

(TORONTO, ONT.) Wheelchair Basketball Canada has announced the 12 athletes representing Canada at the IWBF Men’s Under-23 World Championship in Phuket, Thailand, from Sept. 7-16.

The roster features 10 members of the U23 team that won bronze at the IWBF Americas Under-23 Americas Championship in March and two returning members from the 2017 U23 World Championship in Garrett Ostepchuk (Regina, Sask.) and Ben Hagkull (Chilliwack, B.C.). The roster also includes three athletes that represented Canada at the recent IWBF Americas Cup qualifier in São Paulo, Brazil in Ostepchuk, Hagkull, and Reed De’Aeth (Sherwood Park, Alta.).

“The Under-23 team is honoured and excited to be a part of the upcoming World Championship in Phuket, Thailand,” said Darrell Nordell, Men’s Under-23 Head Coach. “After some setbacks at the Americas Zone qualifier in March, the team is eager to play some competitive wheelchair basketball again. The athletes selected are from across the country and reflect the talent the provincial organizations and coaches have developed. For some, this will be their first appearance internationally and will serve as a stepping stone for future senior team opportunities.”

The U23 World Championship will feature the Top 12 countries from the four zones. Canada will compete in Group A against Brazil, Spain, Turkey, France, and Japan.

The event is typically held every four years, with 12 countries participating. This year’s tournament will be the seventh edition of the event. It is the first U23 tournament since 2017, which Toronto hosted, and Great Britain won.

To be eligible to participate, male players must be born on or after Jan. 1, 1999. The IWBF is maintaining the same age category as if the event was held in 2021 to ensure athletes wouldn’t lose their eligibility due to the postponement of last year’s tournament.

“The group of athletes selected put us in the best position to succeed in Phuket,” said Jeff Dunbrack, Wheelchair Basketball Canada High Performance Director. “The players and staff are excited to represent Canada and challenge for a medal at the Under-23 Worlds.”

Men’s Under-23 Roster:
Reed De’Aeth (Sherwood Park, Alta.)
Collin Lalonde (St-Clet, Que.)
Lionel Tamoki (Montreal, Que.)
Gabriel Giguere (Drummondville, Que.)
Austin MacLellan (Fredericton, N.B.)
Josh Brown (East St. Paul, Man.)
Ben Hagkull (Chilliwack, B.C.)
Garrett Ostepchuk (Regina, Sask.)
Matthew Norris (Winnipeg, Man.)
Mathew Wilton (Langley, B.C.)
Joel Ewart (Prince George, B.C.)
Kyrell Sopotyk (Saskatoon, Sask.)
 
Head Coach
Darrell Nordell (Edmonton, Alta.)

Assistant Coach 
Christian LaSerra (Richelieu, Que.)
 
Additional Support Staff
Dylan Carter (Toronto, Ont.) – Performance Analyst/Team Manager
Paul Murata (Toronto, Ont.) – Athletic Therapist
Jeff Dunbrack (Halifax, N.S.) – High Performance Director

ABOUT WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL CANADA
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sports 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 visit www.wheelchairbasketball.ca

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For more information, please contact:

Dhiren Mahiban
Communications & Digital Media Manager 
Wheelchair Basketball Canada 
416-574-6682
dmahiban@wheelchairbasketball.ca