(April 13, 2013 - MONTREAL, Que.) - Wheelchair Basketball Canada proudly announced the names of its major award winners and inducted the Canadian Men’s London 2012 Paralympic Team into the Hall of Fame Saturday evening at its 2013 annual awards banquet as part of the festivities of the 2013 Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) Open Championship in Montreal, Que. Canadian Sr.
National Team athletes Janet McLachlan (Vancouver, B.C.) and Patrick Anderson (Fergus, Ont.) were named Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s Athletes of the Year, Justin Johnson (Langley, B.C.) was awarded the Junior Athlete of the Year, while Yves Deziel (Montreal, Que.) was honoured with the Leadership Excellence Award and Samuel Graham (Beachburg, Ont.) received the True Sport Award.
The Canadian Men’s London 2012 Paralympic Team was inducted into the Wheelchair Basketball Canada Hall of Fame in recognition of its gold medal performance at the 2012 Paralympic Games.
The nominees for all of the award categories align with the values of Wheelchair Basketball Canada. The individuals exemplify fair play and sportsmanship while committing to values of inclusion. They are leaders in their communities; positive role models and they display superior performance in their respective disciplines. These awards are the membership’s opportunity to nominate and recognize individuals for their contributions within their respective communities.
Female Athlete of the Year: Janet McLachlan - Vancouver, B.C. Janet McLachlan is arguably the best female wheelchair basketball player in the sport today. During the London 2012 Paralympic Games, she posted the most points and rebounds in the entire tournament.
Male Athlete of the Year: Patrick Anderson - Fergus, Ont. Patrick Anderson is arguably the greatest wheelchair basketball player of all-time. This past year, Anderson solidified that reputation by propelling his game to the next level and posting the best offensive numbers of his career en route to a gold medal at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Junior Athlete of the Year: Justin Johnson - Langley, B.C. Although his rise in the sport of wheelchair basketball has been quick, Justin Johnson maintains humility, a strong work ethic and a dedication to fair play. As a member of the Men’s U23 National Team, he recently helped Canada qualify for the 2013 World Junior Championship.
Leadership Excellence Award: Yves Deziel - Montreal, Que. Yves Deziel is an exceptional coach and volunteer. He spent years mastering the intricacies of wheelchair basketball as a player and a coach and transmits his passion and knowledge to the next generation. As the coach of a basketball team for youth with disabilities, Yves encourages physical activity that allows them to develop their skills and autonomy, grow and move forward in life.
True Sport Award: Samuel Graham - Beachburg, Ont. The True Sport Award is granted to an individual who exemplifies all that is positive about sport and competition, and this year’s recipient, Samuel Graham, is an excellent example. A wheelchair basketball athlete from a young age, Sam has established himself as a beacon of positive energy both on and off the court.
Hall of Fame Inductee: Canadian Men’s London 2012 Paralympic Team. The Canadian Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team went undefeated through eight games at the London 2012 Paralympic Games to claim its third gold medal in the last four Paralympic Games and solidified its dynasty as one of the premiere wheelchair basketball programs in the world. The team members were: Abdi Dini (Scarborough, Ont.) Adam Lancia (Toronto, Ont.) Brandon Wagner (Burlington, Ont.) Chad Jassman (Calgary, Alta.) Dave Durepos (Fredericton, N.B.) David Eng (Montreal, Que.) Joey Johnson (Lorette, MB) Patrick Anderson (Fergus, Ont.) Richard Peter (Vancouver, B.C.) Robert Hedges (Wonowon, B.C.) Tyler Miller (Kitchener, Ont.) Yvon Rouillard (Montreal, Que.) Head Coach: Jerry Tonello (Toronto, Ont.)