Wheelchair Basketball Canada has selected 11 athletes, including Prince George’s Joel Ewert, for the Men’s Under-23 team set to compete at the IWBF Americas Zone Qualifier from Jan. 7-16, 2022, in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
The roster features two returning members from the 2017 U23 World Championship in Garrett Ostepchuk (Regina, Sask.) and Ben Hagkull (Chilliwack, B.C.). Ostepchuk also represented Canada at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
“I am incredibly pleased to announce the U23 team that will compete at the Americas Zone Qualifier next month,” said Darrell Nordell, Men’s U23 Head Coach. “The group selected are some of the top athletes in our country, and they have dedicated themselves to finding ways to stay in shape and train when opportunities present themselves. I could not be happier to work with this group of athletes and the rest of the coaching staff as we compete for a spot at the U23 World Championship in May 2022.”
Two spots for the IWBF Men’s U23 World Championship will be up for grabs at the Americas Zone Qualifier. Canada will compete against Brazil, Mexico, and the United States.
The U23 World Championship will take place from May 27-June 4, 2022, in Chiba, Japan. The tournament will feature the top 12 countries from the four zones. The 2022 championship will be the seventh U23 tournament – Toronto hosted the 2017 competition where Great Britain won gold and Canada finished sixth.
“We feel we have selected a group of players that put us in the best position to secure a spot at the U23 World Championship next spring,” said Jeff Dunbrack, Wheelchair Basketball Canada High Performance Director. “Our players and staff are excited for the opportunity to represent Canada in Mexico as we build towards our ultimate goal of winning gold in Japan.”