Hall of Fame induction a ‘huge honour’ for Dave and Sabrina Durepos

Canadian Paralympic Committee

April 29, 2024

The pair will be inducted on Saturday at the Awards and Hall of Fame banquet in Fredericton

Dave and Sabrina Durepos playing Wheelchair Basketball

By Wheelchair Basketball Canada

For Dave and Sabrina Durepos, the induction into the Wheelchair Basketball Canada Hall of Fame has presented a time to reflect on their wheelchair basketball careers and their time with the Senior National Team.

Both admitted it wasn’t the wins and losses or medals that jumped to mind but the time spent with teammates.

“Going through the career, you start thinking about all the fun times you had,” said Dave Durepos. “Not necessarily the gold medals, but the brotherhood you had and everything that goes along with that. All the memories start flashing back.”

Playing with the National Team created life-long friendships for Sabrina Durepos.

“For me, it brought a lot of memories from being with the team, the camaraderie that exists, the special moments and the special bonds that you developed with people across the country,” she said. “I still cherish those to this day. I still talk to some of my previous teammates.”

Born in Fredericton, N.B., Dave Durepos began playing wheelchair basketball following a motorcycle accident. He quickly made a name for himself on the international stage after earning a roster spot on the Senior Men’s National Team in 1994.

Many coaches helped Dave Durepos throughout his wheelchair basketball career. He credits fellow WBC Hall of Famer Joe Higgins with helping him crack the SMNT roster.

“Joe was the first coach that took a chance on me,” Dave Durepos said. “When I made the team, Joe selected me for the first time. Mike Frogley, Paul Bowes, and Jerry Tonello are the coaches that jump to mind. There are a bunch of physiotherapists on the Canadian team, Brett Ngata, James Laskin and Kathy Warren – she’s worked with me since 1998.”

A well-known outside shooter on the court, Dave Durepos, went on to represent Canada at five Paralympic Games, winning gold three times (2000, 2004 and 2012). He became the first New Brunswick native to win Olympic or Paralympic gold when he captained the 2000 team in Sydney, Australia.

A member of the 2006 SMNT, Dave Durepos and Team Canada won gold at the World Championships in Amsterdam, and the team was inducted into the Wheelchair Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

“For me, it was 2000, our first gold medal,” Dave Durepos said of his favourite memory. “It was the first gold medal ever brought back to the province of New Brunswick. They all have a special place, even the bronze medals and even the fifth-place finish – that motivates you to do better the next time. I think those are just as important – those times that you would almost get over the hump to get bronze, and for so many years, we couldn’t get over that hump, and then finally, in 2000, we did, and it was the right colour of gold.”

A native of Repentigny, Que., Sabrina Durepos, was introduced to wheelchair basketball as part of her rehabilitation following a motor vehicle accident.

For Sabrina Durepos, the Hall of Fame induction has brought back memories of those who introduced her to the game, the person who sold her the first wheelchair, and the teammates along the way who helped her train.

“I played with the Gladiateurs de Laval, and I played with CIVA, and when the offseason came around and we didn’t have team practices, having David Eng and Christian LaSerra coming to the gym with me and helping me train was important,” said Sabrina Durepos. “I think about my local coaches, but also Tim Frick – I would have never been the athlete I was if it weren’t for him, Bill Johnson and Mike Frogley – so many of them played key roles in developing and making me the athlete I became. Then of course, there’s the teammates you’re so close to, my friends who are still friends to this day.”

Sabrina Durepos spent 12 years with the Senior Women’s National Team, winning gold at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta and the 2000 Paralympic Games in Sydney.

“The 1996 Games was my first kick at the can with the national team, and as a rookie, I still remember being a rookie; you don’t have any expectations or anything like that,” said Sabrina Durepos. “In 2000, I remember being down and in our locker room and just saying, ‘Okay, we need to come back, we can do this,’ and everybody rallying together. We went back on the court, we dominated and we won that gold medal. It was so special.”

She also helped Canada win bronze in Athens in 2004. Additionally, Sabrina Durepos won three consecutive gold medals with the SWNT at the World Championships (1998-2006).

“Every single one had this one special memory for Athens, that was the first time that the women lost in the semifinals. It was hard; there was a lot of heartache, and we were sad, but at the same time, we rallied together,” she said. “Beijing was tough; it was the first time we didn’t climb onto the podium, which was challenging. At the same time, you look at each of those instances after 2004, we came back and we won World Championships. That was super special. It showed how sometimes missing the mark pushes you to pull up your socks and get it done for the next time.”

As a coach and mentor, Sabrina Durepos was instrumental in developing the CIVA minis program in Quebec. In New Brunswick, Sabrina Durepos played a pivotal role in developing the Learn to Play program. She was also a manager or coach with Team NB at four straight Canada Games (2011-23).

Wheelchair basketball also played a role in Dave and Sabrina Durepos’ lives off the court. It was through the game that the husband and wife met in the late 90s.

“We had known each other for years; we were friends and right time, right place,” said Sabrina Durepos. “But it changed both of our lives.”

 Family, friends and fans can leave a congratulatory message for Dave and Sabrina.

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