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Canadian basketball players enjoy the opportunity to play at home in the Global Jam U23 Tournament

Article author:

The Canadian Press

Canadian news agency

Lori Ewing

UConn's Aaliyah Edwards drives past South Carolina's Destanni Henderson during the first half of a college basketball game in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA tournament Sunday, April 3, 2022, in Minneapolis. At a recent meeting of Canada's U23 men's and women's basketball teams, players were asked to raise hands if they'd ever played for Canada at home. Two of the 36-odd players assembled put up their hands.
UConn's Aaliyah Edwards heads south Passage Carolina's Destanni Henderson in the first half of a college basketball match in the final round of the Women's Final Four NCAA Tournament held in Minneapolis on Sunday, April 3, 2022. At a recent meeting of the Canadian U23 Men's and Women's Basketball Team, players were asked to raise their hands if they had ever played in Canada at home. Two of the 36 players gathered raised their hands.Photo: Eric Gay/Associated Press

Toronto — Canada's recent basketball conference under the age of 23 In the team, players were asked to raise their hands if they had played in Canada at home.

Two of the more than 30 players in attendance raised their hands.

This week's first GloblJam tournament isn't just an opportunity to close the gap between youth and senior teams in Canada's national program, it's rare for Canada's most talented young players to wear Maple Leaf. This is your chance. House.

Aaliyah Edwards, one of the two who played at her home in Edmonton's Olympic qualifying, enjoys the opportunity to be a role model for the young girl she attends.

"It's amazing because we can inspire, motivate, encourage and show that we can reach this level for young women," Connecticut Huskies said positively. .. "Here at home, you can show them high quality basketball. It will be a lot of fun to compete in front of friends and family who are used to watching me on TV."

A new FIBA-sanctioned tournament will be held on Tuesday at the Matami Athletic Center in Toronto. Canadian men will play against the United States, Brazil and Italy, and women will play against the United States, Belgium and France.

This event will help fill the gap that exists between groups under the age of 19 and senior teams. Senior teams usually include a small number of U23 players — R.J. For example, Barrett on the male side and Edwards and Shina Perrington on the female side.

"With more than 200 Canadian NCAA'ers in Division 1, this age group will soon be coming and there will not be enough space to play." Michael Bartlett, CEO of Canadian Basketball. "So if we're playing a long game, we have to give them an opportunity.

" With a few exceptions on the female side. Most of these athletes will not be in Paris in 2024 (Olympic Games), but many of them will be in L.A.'s 2028 Olympic team, so in such tournaments, shots to play at home. And more shots to learn how to win difficult matches against world-class powers such as the United States and France.

"Make sure they are ready to make that leap. It's our responsibility. We've always left it to the athletes to prepare for their own professional career development. (But) it's our responsibility to prepare them for us. It's a job. "

This year's Big East freshman, Ryan Nemhard, has never played in Canada for the past season at the Clayton Blue Jays.

"It's always great to be able to wear your country's jersey and it feels great to be at home. I'm very excited," said Ont's Aurora, 19 years old. Said the guard. ..

Nembhard and Edwards, as well as several players from each team, attended a community event on Monday morning at Regent Park on the eastern tip of Toronto. Basketball drill.

Canada has traditionally struggled to secure commitments from NBA players in Olympic and World Cup qualifying matches, but Bartlett gives U23 players more opportunities at home. By giving, we hope to deepen the sense of culture within the program.

"When it comes to asking you to go abroad and make the difficult decision to play with us in major qualifying, I think there are generations of athletes who play more at home. Is deeper, "he said. "I think their loyalty to this country is always strong. You need to make them faithful to the program, which is a two-way path."

U23 There is no FIBA ​​ranking, but Canada is 4th in the world men's youth (U18) ranking and 8th on the women's side.

"We are now well enough for all ages and have a chance to win every time we play," Bartlett said. "After all, this country loves basketball and sports, and loves winning sports, so let's play more at home."

Canadian basketball will be held in Toronto next year at Globl Jam Was announced.

Carly Clark is the head coach of a Canadian women's team to face Belgium on Tuesday. Toronto Raptors assistant Nathaniel Mitchell will make his Canadian head coach debut on Tuesday against Brazil.

Canadian Address Book:

Women: Shy Day-Wilson, Toronto. LaShae Dwyer, Toronto; Aaliyah Edwards, Kingston, Ontario; Yvonne Ezim, Calgary; Tayahanson, Kelowna, British Columbia; Filipina Kiei, Calgary; Latasha Lattimore, Toronto; Rosalie Mercille, St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Que .; Shina Perrington, Pickering, Ontario; Melissa Russell, Ottawa; Sarah Te-Biasu, Montreal; Tarawallak, Sally, British Columbia

Men: Keeshawn Barthelemy, Montreal; Charles Bediaco, Brumpton, Ontario; Marcus Car, Toronto; Quincy Guerrier, Montreal; Kur Jongkuch, London, Ontario; Thomas Kennedy, Windsor, Ontario; Liam McCinney, Prince Rupert, British Columbia; Emmanuel Miller, Toronto; Leonard Miller, Toronto; Ryan Nemhard, Aurora, Ontario. Addison Patterson, Milton, Ontario; Stephen Smith, Ajax, Ontario.

This report by Canadian Press was first published on July 4, 2022.

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