Wheelchair Basketball Canada has announced their 2017 men’s and women’s national teams, which includes the return of sporting legend Patrick Anderson.
Anderson is regarded as one of the best wheelchair basketball players, with his latest mark on the team being gold at London 2012.
He hopes to lead the team to a top four finish at the Americas Cup qualifier, which is currently underway in Cali, Colombia. Both the men’s and women’s are seeking a top four finish to secure a berth to the World Championships taking place in Hamburg, Germany in 2018.
“We started a process to prepare for the qualifier and everything is going as expected,” said senior men’s national team head coach Matteo Feriani. “We are building new chemistry within the team as we have some new additions this year. We will arrive in Colombia with new ideas and with confidence. We want to enjoy the tournament and ourselves and look forward to the competition.”
Women’s national team head coach Marc Antoine Ducharme said: “This is a new era for this team and we are building a solid group for the coming year. Several good players have retired following Rio but the curve of our progression will continue to go up. Team chemistry is very important in basketball and our team is united and ready to perform at its best during big games.”
The rosters feature 12 returning players who represented Team Canada at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
All-time great Anderson will round out a solid core of veterans, including co-captains David Eng and Bo Hedges, and fellow Paralympic gold medallist Tyler Miller. Paralympians Nik Goncin and Jonathan Vermette also return.
Canada welcomes four rookies to the team in Adel Akhmed, Alex Hayward, Colin Higgins and Garrett Ostepchuk. Akhmed, Hayward and Ostepchuk recently represented Canada at the 2017 Men’s U23 World Championship in Toronto in June alongside returnees Vincent Dallaire and Ben Moronchuk.
Veteran Cindy Ouellet leads the cast of returning players on the women’s side, which includes fellow Paralympians Erica Gavel, Melanie Hawtin, Rosalie Lalonde, Tamara Steeves and Arinn Young. Ouellet, Hawtin, Steeves and Young were all part of the Canadian team that won gold at the last World Championship in 2014.
With several retirements following Rio 2016, Canada also welcomes a group of new faces into the fold in Sara Black, Helaina Cyr, Kady Dandeneau and Élodie Tessier.
Team Canada Men
Patrick Anderson *
Nikola Goncin *
Bo Hedges *
Tyler Miller *
Ben Moronchuk *
Jonathan Vermette *
Team Canada Women
Erica Gavel *
Melanie Hawtin *
Rosalie Lalonde *
Cindy Ouellet *
Tamara Steeves *
Arinn Young *
* indicates Paralympians