12 Athletes nominated to represent Canada at the Pan American Games
(TORONTO June 22, 2015) – On Monday, the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) and Canada Basketball announced the 12 athletes and three alternates nominated to represent Team Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games from July 16 to 20.
The Canadian Women’s Basketball Team is coming off a 5th place finish at the 2014 FIBA World Championship in Turkey – their best finish in almost 30 years. Ten athletes from that squad will represent Canada at TORONTO 2015: Miranda Ayim, Nirra Fields, Kim Gaucher, Miah-Marie Langlois, Lizanne Murphy, Kia Nurse, Katherine Plouffe, Michelle Plouffe, Tamara Tatham and Shona Thorburn. Rounding out the 12-athlete roster are Natalie Achonwa and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe.
Seven members of the TORONTO 2015 squad – Achonwa, Ayim, Gaucher, Murphy, Michelle Plouffe, Tatham and Thorburn – represented Canada at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Head Coach Lisa Thomaidis leads the team, along with Assistants Shawnee Harle, Bev Smith and Steve Baur. The team will head to Edmonton, their official training ground, on June 30 for their final TORONTO 2015 preparation camp.
Up-and-coming Canadian talents Shay Colley, Saicha Grant-Allen, and Jamie Weisner will be Team Canada alternates and will train with the team in Edmonton. The final 12-player Pan Am roster will be confirmed prior to competition.
The women’s basketball competition takes place at the Ryerson Athletic Centre from July 16 to 20, with a three-game preliminary round, semifinals and finals. TORONTO 2015 serves as an important competition in the lead up to the 2015 FIBA Americas Women’s Championship, the official qualification tournament for Rio 2016. Canada is hosting the competition in Edmonton from August 9 to 16.
Canada will field the largest team in its Pan American Games history with more than 700 athletes expected to be named to the Team at the Games in Toronto. With TORONTO 2015 providing a “home Games” experience, as well as a number of qualification opportunities for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, these Games will offer a tremendous experience for Canada’s high performance athletes.
“These athletes have been enjoying success on the competition circuit, achieving their best ever result in nearly 30 years recently at the 2014 FIBA World Championship. I look forward to watching them bring this streak of success to Toronto to show the Americas what they are made of. Congratulations to all those who made the team.”
Marcel Aubut, President, Canadian Olympic Committee
“Congratulations to all of the players on being named to the Canadian Pan American Team. Your hard work and dedication, on and off the court has paid off. I look forward to seeing you dominate in Toronto and I know that you will represent our country with heart and soul when you step on the hardwood this summer.”
Curt Harnett, TORONTO 2015 Team Canada Chef de Mission
“To represent your country, especially on home soil, is an honour and privilege. In my time with the team we’ve never had the depth and level of talent we do here this year. We are very excited to showcase it at Pan Am Games and FIBA Americas to vie for the most coveted prize – a berth to the Rio Olympic Games.”
Lisa Thomaidis, Women’s National Basketball Team Head Coach
“This is an incredible summer for our senior women, with a strong team participating in back-to-back domestic competitions. We’re proud to participate in the Pan Am Games and represent Canada.”
Denise Dignard, Director Women’s High Performance, Canada Basketball
“Pan Am games in Toronto, I wish they started tomorrow! It’s a huge honour to be a part of this team, at this time in basketball in Canada. I’ve been lucky enough to be with the senior team since I was 16 and have seen generations of players never get to play a meaningful game on Canadian soil. This summer is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that we have been waiting for. We are talented, skilled and driven. We can’t wait to show off our game to the country. We strive to make every Canadian proud.”
Kim Gaucher, TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games athlete
“Congratulations to the athletes nominated today to compete for Canada in women’s basketball at the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. Canada has a history of excellence in this sport, and we wish our women’s team the best of luck as they compete at home during the Year of Sport in Canada.”
The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport)
The Women’s Basketball team which will represent Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Games includes:
|Natalie||Achonwa||Guelph, ON||Centre||Indiana Fever (WNBA)|
|Miranda||Ayim||London, ON||Forward||Basket Landes (France)|
|Shay||Colley*||Brampton, ON||Guard||South Carolina(NCAA)|
|Nirra||Fields||Lachine, QC||Guard||UCLA (NCAA)|
|Kim||Gaucher||Mission, BC||Guard||Mondeville (France)|
|Saicha||Grant-Allen*||Hamilton, ON||Forward||Dayton (NCAA)|
|Miah-Marie||Langlois||Windsor, ON||Guard||Lulea (Sweden)|
|Lizanne||Murphy||Beaconsfield, QC||Forward||Angers (France)|
|Kia||Nurse||Hamilton, ON||Guard||UConn (NCAA)|
|Katherine||Plouffe||Edmonton, AB||Forward||ICIM Arad (Romania)|
|Michelle||Plouffe||Edmonton, AB||Forward||Mondeville (France)|
|Nayo||Raincock-Ekunwe||Toronto, ON||Forward||Wasserburg (Germany)|
|Tamara||Tatham||Brampton, ON||Forward||Pientanske Cajky (Slovakia)|
|Shona||Thorburn||Hamilton, ON||Guard||Nantes Reze(France)|
|Jamie||Weisner*||Clarkston, WA||Guard||Oregon State (NCAA)|
Coaches & Staff:
|Assistant Coach||Steve||Baur||Wolfville, NS|
|Athletic & Massage Therapist||Marcel||Charland||Toronto, ON|
|Basketball Scientist||**Chris||DalCin||Toronto, ON|
|Team Leader||Denise||Dignard||Toronto, ON|
|Assistant Coach||Shawnee||Harle||Calgary, AB|
|Sport Psychologist||Peter||Jensen||Toronto, ON|
|Lead Physician||**Sarah||Kim||Toronto, ON|
|Performance Analyst||Dipesh||Mistry||Markham, ON|
|Head Physiotherapist||Joan||Mlynarczyk||Toronto, ON|
|Assistant Coach||Bev||Smith||Eugene, OR|
|Head Coach||Lisa||Thomaidis||Saskatoon, SK|
|Team Manager||Anne Marie||Thuss||Hamilton, ON|
Prior to being named to the final Canadian Pan American Team, all nominations are subject to approval by the Canadian Olympic Committee’s Team Selection Committee following its receipt of nominations by all National Sport Federations prior to competition.