The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and the 2017 Men’s U23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship (2017 U23WWBC) organizing committee are pleased to announce the 12 countries that will compete at the world junior championship from June 8-16, 2017 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ont.
The Canadian Men’s U23 National Team will join teams from Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Africa, Turkey, and the United States in the tournament.
IWBF President, Ulf Mehrens said, “The qualification tournaments for the U23 World Championships in each zone were extremely competitive, I would like to congratulate all the nations that have qualified. I’m really proud to have representation from all of our zones at the Championships. This is a real showcase for our young talented wheelchair basketball athletes and I am in no doubt we are set for some high quality action. These Championships really exhibit how much junior programmes within wheelchair basketball have grown and developed in the past 20 years. It is also a pleasure for us to have the tournament hosted in Canada again. They have done a very professional job previously in hosting tournaments, and we know they are experienced in organising world class events. We are looking forward to welcoming the future stars of our sport to Canada in June.”
The 2017 Men’s U23 World Championship marks the 20-year anniversary since Canada hosted the inaugural world championship for junior men in 1997 in Toronto.
“We are proud to welcome the top junior male wheelchair basketball players in the world to Toronto and look forward to the display of elite skill and athleticism that is sure to captivate fans following opening tip off in June,” said Tournament Director Wendy Gittens. “To once again host this world-class event is truly an honour and we are thrilled to celebrate a milestone by bringing the tournament back to the original host city 20 years later. The game has evolved tremendously since 1997 and we cannot wait to see the next generation of premier athletes showcase what they can do on the court.”
The 2017 U23WWBC will celebrate the ongoing growth of the game while promoting inclusivity and accessibility. By building on the legacy of hosting the 2014 Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championship and the momentum created by the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, the organizing committee will forge a lasting legacy for the wheelchair basketball community in Canada and around the world.
A formal draw will take place at a later date to determine the competition groups for the tournament. The competition schedule will be announced shortly thereafter.