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Former UNBC students Dandeneau, Hedges win Commonwealth Games medals

Canadian women strike gold in 3X3 women's wheelchair basketball; men lose close one to Aussies in championship final

Former UNBC Timberwolves basketball star Kady Dandeneau made history Tuesday at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.

She and her three teammates won gold for Canada in women’s 3X3 wheelchair basketball with a 14-5 win over Australia – which marked the sport’s debut at the Commonwealth Games.

The 32-year-old Dandeneau, a native of Pender Harbour who played with the T-wolves for six years from 2007-13, scored a team-high six points and collected nine rebounds and four assists in Tuesday’s final.

She shared the gold medal with teammates Elodie Tessier, Tamara Steeves and Tara Llanes.

Canada went undefeated after preliminary-round wins over Kenya, 17-1, and England, 13-8, and a 12-5 semifinal win over Scotland.

Dandeneau is able-bodied, classified at 4.5 (least disabled). She suffered two knee injuries playing for UNBC and after four surgeries was left with permanent damage to her knee and femur.

Meanwhile, in the 3X3 men’s wheelchair basketball tournament, former UNBC student Robert “Bo” Hedges and Fort St. John native, will be coming back to Canada with a silver medal.

The 45-year-old and his Canadian teammates, Vincent Dallaire and Colin Higgins, lost Tuesday in the Commonwealth Games final 11-9 to Australia.

Hedges’ disability is rated at 2.5 (1.0 is the most disabled) on the wheelchair basketball classification system. He had one point and five assists in the gold-medal game.

The Canadian men opened the Commonwealth tournament with a 13-11 loss to Australia, then beat Northern Ireland 13-5 and in the semifinals defeated Malaysia 14-9.

Canada currently ranks fourth in the medal standings with 12 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze for a total of 48 medals. Australia leads with 111 medals, including 42 gold, 34 silver and 35 bronze.