Canada's 3x3 wheelchair basketball teams named ahead of Commonwealth Games

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Canada's women's wheelchair basketball is heading to the 2022 Commonwealth Games on a high note after beating the U.S. for gold at the Americas Cup tournament in July in Brazil. (wheelchairbasketball.ca - image credit)
Canada's women's wheelchair basketball is heading to the 2022 Commonwealth Games on a high note after beating the U.S. for gold at the Americas Cup tournament in July in Brazil. (wheelchairbasketball.ca - image credit)

Canada's first wheelchair basketball teams to compete at the Commonwealth Games have been named on Friday by Commonwealth Sport Canada and Wheelchair Basketball Canada.

While the traditional 5x5 basketball has been a part of the Melbourne 2006 and in Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the fast-paced 3x3 format is making its debut in 2022's edition in both able-bodied and wheelchair basketball disciplines.

Four-time Paralympian and captain Bo Hedges of Wonowon, B.C., highlights the men's side. The veteran will be joined by Colin Higgins of Rothesay, N.B., Regina's Garrett Ostepchuk Regina and Quebec City's Vincent Dallaire.

Kady Dandeneau of Pender Island, B.C., Élodie Tessier of Saint-Germain de Grantham, Que., Tamara Steeves of Mississauga, Ont., and captain Tara Llanes of North Vancouver, B.C., will represent the women's team.

"It will be the first time wheelchair basketball is played at the Games, so it's pretty neat to be part of the first Canadian wheelchair basketball team to play in a Commonwealth Games," said Hedges.

"It'll be fun and exciting – it's always cool to do something new, and the group we've got going is going to be fun to be around and experience that with."

"I've never participated in a 3-on-3 tournament before, and I think being part of a Games with stand-up basketball and being really integrated where there is a stand-up game followed by a wheelchair game, to me, that is really cool," said Tokyo 2020 Paralympian Llanes.

"I'm excited to be able to watch that and have them watch us."

Both Canadian teams have recently qualified to the worlds in Dubai after claiming medals at the Americas Cup tournament in July in the tradition 5x5 format.

The Canadian women took down the U.S. for gold while the men's team defeated hosts Brazil for bronze.

The wheelchair basketball tournament will take place from July 29 to August 2, while the Commonwealth Games are set for July 28 to August 8.

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