Chilliwack’s Ben Hagkull is soaking up the sights and sounds of international wheelchair basketball competition as he represents Canada at the U-23 World Championships in Toronto. WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL CANADA PHOTO

Ben Hagkull’s Canadian basketball crew annihilates Italy

The Chilliwack native’s wheelchair b-ball team cruised through their World Championship opener.

Chilliwack’s Ben Hagkull and his Canadian crew are 1-0 at the Men’s U-23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championships.

Team Canada swatted aside Team Italy 66-35 in its Thurday morning opener at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto.

One of the youngest players on the roster, Hagkull didn’t see any floor time.

The Chilliwack secondary school student cheered loudly from the bench as he watched veteran Ben Moronchuk pour in 36 points to lead Canada.

Hagkull will hope to see some action between now and June 16, when the 12 team tournament wraps up. Canada is back in action tomorrow (Friday) with a 6 p.m. tipoff vs Australia.

Other teams in the field are the United States, Germany, Great Britain, France, Brazil, Iran, Japan, South Africa and Turkey.