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 nominated athlete roster is comprised of experienced professionals, Olympians and up-and-coming talent.
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 Bauer. 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.
The Women’s Basketball team which will represent Canada at the TORONTO 2015 Games includes:
Name / Hometown / Position / Team/Club
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:
Position / Name / Hometown
Assistant Coach / Steve Bauer / 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
** Unaccredited Staff
Story and Photo from the Canadian Olympic Committee Website | Olympic.ca