Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball team needs top-four to qualify for Paris

Canadian Paralympic Committee

April 08, 2024

Antibes, France to host last chance qualifier for 2024 Paralympic Games

Nikola Goncin, Tokyo 2020 - Wheelchair Basketball

OTTAWA – Veterans Patrick Anderson and Bo Hedges headline Canada’s team for the men’s wheelchair basketball last chance Paralympic Games qualifier set for April 12-15 in Antibes, France.

The top-four teams in the eight-country tournament earn tickets to the 2024 Paralympic Games set further north in Paris from August 28 to September 8.

‘’We are becoming more and more a cohesive unit,’’ said the Toronto-based Hedges, vying for a fifth Games appearance. ‘’We trust in what we’re doing and trust in one another. That is going to be a key for us if we’re going to qualify.’’

The teams are split into two groups of four. Canada, sixth at the 2023 world championships in Dubai, is in pool A with the Netherlands, Iran, and France. The French do not get an automatic berth as host country for the Games.

Iran was third at the 2022 worlds, the Netherlands fourth, and France ninth.



Group B is comprised of Colombia, Germany, Morocco, and Italy. The Italians are the top seed in that group, ranked fifth internationally, followed by number-eight Germany while Morocco and Colombia were not at the 16-country worlds in 2022.

Anderson is vying for a sixth Paralympic Games participation. He was a member of Canada’s gold medal winning squads in 2000, 2004 and 2012. At 44, Anderson remains a major offensive threat. At the last worlds in Dubai, he was first in average steals per game, third in three-pointers, eighth in assists, and ninth in scoring.

Other veterans include Nik Goncin of Regina, who averaged 16.5 points a game at worlds and defensive stalwart Colin Higgins of Rothesay, N.B.

After some lean years (11th at the 2016 Games and 12th at the 2018 worlds) Canada seems to be climbing back up the international ladder. They were eighth at Tokyo 2020 and improved to sixth at the 2022 worlds.

“We are on the right path,’’ said Hedges. ‘’It’s not an easy sport to play. It takes time. The young guys need to develop, they need to get the international experience because the international field is super competitive and stronger than ever.’’

Also on the team are Vincent Dallaire of Quebec City, Reed De’Aeth of Sherwood Park, Alta., Chad Jassman of Calgary, Lee Melymick, of Toronto, Tyler Miller of Kitchener, Ont., Blaise Mutware of Toronto, Garrett Ostepchuk of Regina, and Jonathan Vermette of Sherbrooke, Que.

This year only eight countries will participate in the Paralympic Games tournament, reduced from 12 at the previous few Games. Already qualified are the world champions USA which qualified after winning gold at the Parapan American Games last November. Also in are Great Britain and Spain, 1-2 at the European championships, and Australia as Oceania-Asia champions.

Canada opens the tournament against the Dutch on April 12 followed by preliminary round games against France April 13 and Iran April 14. The last day of competition is April 15 with the four quarterfinal winners qualifying for Paris 2024.

Team Canada for the men’s wheelchair basketball Paralympic Games qualifying tournament April 12-15 in Antibes, France:

Patrick Anderson – Fergus, Ont.
Vincent Dallaire – Quebec City, Que.
Reed De’Aeth – Sherwood Park, Alta.
Nik Goncin – Regina, Sask.
Bo Hedges – Wonowon, B.C.
Colin Higgins – Rothesay, N.B.
Chad Jassman – Calgary, Alta.
Lee Melymick – Toronto, Ont.
Tyler Miller – Kitchener, Ont.
Blaise Mutware – Toronto, Ont.
Garrett Ostepchuk – Regina, Sask.
Jonathan Vermette – Sherbrooke, Que.

Matteo Feriani (Padova, Italy) – Head Coach
Nicolas Palmer (Laval, Que.) – Assistant Coach
Darrell Nordell (Edmonton, Alta.) – Assistant Coach

Team Canada’s schedule
(all times eastern)
April 12 – Canada vs Netherlands – 9:30 a.m.
April 13 – France vs Canada – 12:00 p.m.
April 14 – Canada vs Iran – 7:15 a.m.
April 15 – TBD
All games will be streamed on the IWBF YouTube channel.

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