Chilliwack’s Ben Hagkull is one of two athletes of the year from B.C. Wheelchair Basketball.
The organization live-streamed its annual awards ceremony June 14, with Hagkull and Megan Smith sharing the top honour given to players who have continued to work hard to better themselves and their game and strive for personal and athletic growth.
“Ben has kept his goal of making the senior national team very alive in 2020,” said his dad, Brad Hagkull, who hosted the online awards and read portions of a letter from Ben’s nominator. “When the pandemic hit, he took his training to his living room. He mixed it up between training online and schooling at Camosun College.
“Ben was fortunate as a carded athlete to also train with his coach on the court, but without his teammates. He kept pushing and his overall fitness improved. He is always one of the first to thank others, to be grateful for support and show true professionalism at all times.
“He is a great athlete and a great young man who has used wheelchair basketball to help him mature on so many levels. He takes every opportunity to be an ambassador for his sport.”
The 22-year-old Chilliwack secondary school grad hopes to make the national men’s team for the 2026 in Italy.
According to his wheelchairbasketball.ca bio, Hagkull has represented British Columbia at several national championships as well as the 2015 Canada Games. In 2017, he earned a roster spot on the Canadian men’s U23 national team.