Patrick Anderson’s presence will be felt on and off the court at Parapan Am Games

Canadian Paralympic Committee

November 08, 2023

Both Canadian wheelchair basketball teams looking for gold in Santiago


OTTAWA – Patrick Anderson admits there are more aches and pains than ever these days in his long and storied career but for him it is well worth it as he helps develop the next generation of Canada’s wheelchair basketball players.

Even at 43, Anderson is still one of Canada’s key players leading into the Parapan American Games this month in Santiago, Chile. At the world championships earlier this year, Anderson averaged over 30 minutes a game (out of 40) in four of Canada’s seven games.

The five-time Paralympian was in the tournament’s top-10 in total points, three pointers, steals and assists. Canada placed fifth, its best international result in several years and a huge confidence boost heading to Chile where it must win gold to qualify for the 2024 Paralympic Games.

“It’s sort of a fight with Father Time,” said Anderson, headed to his sixth Parapan Ams, in an interview with CPC. “There are the challenges of being older, and having a picture in my mind of how I used to play and things I used to be able to do and asking myself about why I can’t do it anymore.”

Anderson is of course downgrading his impact on the court as he showed at worlds the precision, speed, and anticipation that continues to confuse opponents’ strategies. As a living legend on the court, his adversaries are in awe and his teammates are soaking in the experience.

“Part of the reason I’m still playing is because I really get a kick out of my teammates and I feel like it contributes to the success of our team,” said Anderson, part of Canada’s teams that won Paralympic gold in 2000, 2004, and 2012 when he was unquestionably the greatest player in the world.

“I was always a pretty quiet player, so I’ve had to kind of try to get out of my shell a little bit in order to communicate.”

The message from the double leg amputee is getting through. Take his teammate Blaise Mutware, whose Paralympic debut came at Tokyo 2020. Mutware was injured at age 20 when he was confronted by two robbers and shot in the leg.

“Just seeing Patrick still pursuing the game and still thriving is very motivational,” said Mutware, now 29 and headed to his second Parapan Ams. “I feel lucky to train and practice with him. I’m always picking his brain.”

The Canadian men, ranked second in the Americas and silver medallists four years ago, open the Parapan Am tournament against Chile and will also face Venezuela and Argentina from their pool in the preliminary round.

On the women’s side, Canada is also ranked second in the Americas and its biggest opponent for gold will be the U.S.

The veteran women’s squad is led by Kady Dandeneau, one of nine members back from the 2019 squad that won Parapan Am gold in Lima, Peru. At the 2023 worlds, where Canada was fifth, she was fourth in scoring and first in three-pointers.

One of the three newcomers on the team is Desiree Isaac-Pictou, from Ugpi’ganjig, Eel River Bar First Nation in New Brunswick. Isaac-Pictou represented Canada earlier this year at the U25 worlds where it placed sixth.

“I’m just super honoured because I’ll be able to tag along with these girls that are going to be able to teach me so much,” said Isaac-Pictou, a 23-year-old double leg amputee, to CBC about being named to the Parapan Am team.

The Canadian women also open their tournament November 18 against Brazil followed by pool opponents El Salvador and Colombia before the playoff round.

The winners of both the men’s and women’s tournaments in Santiago will earn a spot at the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games, avoiding the need to play a last-chance qualifier next year.

Tournament schedule

For more information: Wheelchair Basketball Team Announcement


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