The future of Canadian men’s wheelchair basketball will be on full display this week as the top junior national teams from across the globe battle for gold at the first men’s under-23 world championship in five years.
The tournament, featuring 12 countries, kicks off Wednesday in Phuket, Thailand — where Canada’s 12-player team hopes to reach the podium at the tournament for the first time since 2001.
“It’s a big stage for them,” head coach Darrell Nordell told CBC Sports.
Normally held every four years, the seventh edition of the tournament was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Canada finished sixth in 2017 in Toronto, but the team won gold at the first two editions, in 1997 and 2001.
Two players from that 2017 squad, Ben Hagkull and Garrett Ostepchuk, are set to compete in their second U23 world championship.
“I’m really confident in the team’s ability to do well in…